Contact a New Hampshire Alimony Attorney Today
On January 1, 2019, a new law governing alimony went into effect in NH. The new law is an attempt to set a formula for determining the amount, duration and termination of alimony. Prior to this law, there was no set standard for awarding alimony, which led to different results in different courts. The result was a wide variety of alimony orders, depending on the judge. The current law attempts to remedy this issue while making the results more predictable. Simultaneously, a change in federal law set forth that new alimony orders will no longer be tax-deductible to the person paying alimony or be taxable income to the person receiving it.
Highlights of The New Law
- The purpose of alimony is to allow both parties to retain a standard of living. A party to a divorce has five years to request alimony.
- The formula for determining alimony: 30% of the difference between the gross income of the parties (that is, before taxes) for a time period of half the length of the marriage.
Hypothetical example: Bob makes $12,000 per month, and Sherry makes $2,000 per month. The formula says Bob should pay Sherry $3,000 per month (30% of $10,000, which is the difference in their gross incomes). If they were married for twelve years, Bob should pay for six years.
- Gross income is reduced by the amount of child support or alimony paid for a prior family, child support paid for the kids of the present family and costs for health insurance for the benefit of the other party.
- These figures are guidelines and not automatic. The judge can go up or down a step for many reasons, such as the health of the parties or special needs of the children.
- There are two types of alimony: term and reimbursement.
Term alimony is when periodic payments are made to a spouse (or former spouse after the effective date of the final decree).
Reimbursement alimony is a separate form of alimony that can be awarded additionally for job training and education. This means Bob could have to pay child support, term alimony AND reimbursement alimony.
- The statute terminates alimony at full retirement age unless justice requires otherwise.
- Alimony can terminate when the receiving party starts living (cohabitating) with another unrelated party in a relationship that resembles marriage.
This is a summary of the main changes in the law, but does not substitute for great legal advice. If you are facing a divorce, speak with an attorney to discuss the application of the law to your particular case. Attorney David Newton is available to handle all your domestic relations needs.
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