NH Law About... Alimony

Introduction to... Alimony

Updated March 23, 2017.

Alimony is also called spousal support or spousal maintenance. Although we usually think of alimony as a state issue, there may be circumstances (for example, military spouses, tax issues, or bankruptcy) where federal law is involved. In New Hampshire, RSA 458:19 governs alimony and outlines the standards the courts must use for awarding alimony. Unlike child support, there isn't a formula that determines the amount and duration of an alimony or in New Hampshire.

There are several good resources about alimony in New Hampshire. Two, Family Law (Chapter 18) and A Practical Guide to Divorce in New Hampshire (Chapter 9) are available in several public libraries in New Hampshire. Click the links below to find the libraries.  

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.


Read about... Alimony


Divorce in the Trenches by Anna Goulet Zimmerman. N.H.B.J., Vol. 53, No. 2 (Summer 2012)

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

"Divorces in which one or both spouses are, or were, in the military present many obstacles that are often overlooked by divorce practitioners. The intent of this article is to address just a few of the most common issues frequently encountered in military divorces. In a world filled with acronyms and an overlap of federal and state laws, military divorces can be significantly different than what is encountered in most "civilian" cases and the potential minefields often seem endless."   GO>

IRS.gov. Publication 17. Alimony

Link verified on: August 7, 2017

Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. It doesn't include voluntary payments that aren't made under a divorce or separation instrument. Alimony is deductible by the payer, and the recipient must include it in income. Although this chapter is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient can also use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony.   GO>


Family law / by Charles G. Douglas. New Providence, N.J. : LexisNexis, 2014. 4th ed.   GO>

Link verified on: May 23, 2017

A practical guide to divorce in New Hampshire / editor, Jeanmarie Papelian ; marital masters, Robert J. Foley ... [et al.] ; authors, Michael L. Alfano ... [et al.]. Boston, MA : MCLE Ne  GO>

Link verified on: May 23, 2017

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Read the law about... Alimony


RSA 458. Annulment, Divorce and Separation  GO>

Link verified on: May 23, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

Link verified on: July 21, 2017

Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>


155 N.H. 738 (2007). In re Peirano

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

In determining the amount of alimony, a trial court must consider various factors enumerated in RSA 458:19, IV (2004). Nevertheless, trial courts have broad discretion in awarding alimony   GO>

156 N.H. 356 (2007). In re Kenick

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

The record supports the following facts: The parties were married in 1983 and divorced in 1996. When they divorced, they stipulated that neither would pay alimony to the other. In October 2006, the petitioner filed a motion to bring forward, requesting alimony because a recent medical condition allegedly prevents her from working. The respondent moved to dismiss, arguing that RSA 458:19, I (Supp. 2006) barred the petitioner's motion. The trial court dismissed the petitioner's motion, and this appeal followed. Before RSA 458:19, I, was amended in 2001, a party could seek alimony at any time after a divorce became final. In 2001, the legislature amended RSA 458:19, I, by requiring that motions for alimony be brought within 5 years of the decree of nullity or divorce. Where, as here, an original divorce decree has not ordered either party to pay alimony, neither party has a vested right to receive it.   GO>

163 N.H. 575 (2012). In re Dube

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

The primary purpose of alimony is rehabilitative, and it is designed to encourage the recipient to establish an independent source of income. Rehabilitative alimony is based on the theory that modern spouses are equally able to function in the job market and to provide for their own financial needs. Consequently, the purpose of an order for support is not to provide a life-time profit-sharing plan.   GO>

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Reports

Link verified on: July 21, 2017

Find the New Hampshire Reports in libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Cases: New Hampshire case law consists of the published opinions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. GO>


26 U.S.C. 71. Alimony and separate maintenance payments (I.R.C. sec 71)  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

26 U.S.C. 215. Alimony, etc., payments (I.R.C. sec 215)  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

38 U.S.C. 5301. Nonassignability and exempt status of benefits  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017


Circuit Court. Family Division. Service Center

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

Questions regarding Circuit Court Family Division cases (e.g., divorce, parenting, juvenile delinquency, CHINS, guardianship of minors, and cases involving DCYF) may be directed to the Family Division Service Center.   GO>


Link verified on: July 28, 2017

Volunteer attorneys are available to answer legal questions through LawLine, a free service of the NH Bar Association. LawLine is held on the SECOND Wednesday of each month from 6:00 p.m. ~ 8:00 p.m. To reach LawLine, call (toll free) 800-868-1212.   GO>

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: September 22, 2017

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>

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