Understanding Alimony2017-10-13T04:26:03+00:00

Alimony is sometimes known as “spousal support” or “maintenance.” Alimony is the payment of money for the support of one spouse from the other. Note that not every divorce requires the payment of spousal support. In New Hampshire, RSA 458:19 governs the law of alimony. New Hampshire law requires the court to consider a set of factors when determining the length and amount of alimony.

The factors to be considered for amount and duration of alimony include, but are not limited to:

  • The receiving party’s lack of sufficient income, property, or both,
  • Lifestyle during the marriage,
  • The paying party’s ability to pay alimony,
  • The receiving party is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment,
  • The length of marriage,
  • The age of the parties,
  • The social or economic status of the parties,
  • The occupation of the parties,
  • The amount and sources of income of the parties,
  • The property awarded under RSA 458:16-a,
  • The vocational skills and employability of the receiving party,
  • The needs of each party,
  • The opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income,
  • The fault of either party as defined in RSA 458:16-a, II(I), and
  • Federal tax consequences of the order
  • See RSA 458:19 for full text of the law.

There are three types of alimony: (1) temporary, (2) short-term, and (3) long-term (permanent). Temporary alimony is granted while the divorce is pending and it will end when the divorce is final. After the divorce is final, the court may enter no alimony, short-term alimony, or long-term (permanent) alimony. Short-term alimony may be granted for a short period of time to allow the receiving spouse to gain the necessary education or training to become financially independent. Long-term alimony (i.e. permanent) may be granted to a spouse who will never be able to become financially independent. Long-term alimony is usually reserved for marriages of long duration.