The Attorneys at the Law Office of Shaunna Browne, PLLC are ready and willing to provide you with the legal advice you need when you have questions regarding your right to seek and/or your obligation to pay alimony. In New Hampshire, alimony, also called spousal support, may be awarded by a judge or agreed upon, under certain circumstances.
Who Receives Alimony Payments?
New Hampshire allows a divorcing spouse to request and receive alimony on both a temporary and final basis. There are several factors that the Court must take into consideration before issuing an alimony award. These include, but are not limited to, the length of the marriage (with a long term marriage being treated differently than the short term marriage), ages and educational levels of the parties, their current incomes and historical earning capacities (as it impacts their ability to acquire assets in the future), fault based misconduct on the part of one party, and the need of the recipient to obtain additional financial assistance through an alimony award, along with the ability of the other spouse to pay any such award.
What is Alimony?
Alimony is defined as payments made to or for the benefit of a spouse or former spouse. The purpose of alimony is to allow both parties to maintain a reasonable standard of living. The court may only award alimony to a spouse if they cannot provide for his or her own reasonable needs or be self-supporting, taking into account the lifestyle of the couple during the marriage. It also takes into consideration the extent to which each person must adjust their standards of living due to the divorce. In addition, the spouse who is to pay alimony must similarly be able to meet his or her own reasonable needs while meeting those necessary needs of the party in need.
The amount of alimony is either the payee’s reasonable need (which is an amount to be determined by the Court or through mediation) OR thirty percent (30%) of the difference between the parties’ gross incomes at the time the court issues the order, whichever is less. Gross income is affected by child support, alimony payments to another spouse, and health insurance premiums. Ultimately, the court can adjust any alimony award as justice may require.
The maximum duration of alimony is half the length of the marriage. An alimony award can end sooner depending on a variety of circumstances, but will automatically cease if the spouse receiving support remarries or the spouse paying support reaches the age of retirement (as defined by the office of Social Security) and retires.
The court can award temporary alimony prior to the finalization of a divorce. Temporary alimony does not count toward a final alimony award and it is not subject to the formula or duration limits placed on a final alimony award.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Shaunna L. Browne, PLLC, stand ready and able to provide you with the advice and guidance you need to address any and all issues which arise in any divorce matter, including the issue of alimony.