How to Calculate Alimony in New Hampshire

By Wayne Thomas

The marriage relationship is supportive in nature. For that reason, courts in New Hampshire are sensitive to the needs of both spouses after divorce, and have the authority to order one spouse to pay financial support to the other for a specific period of time or indefinitely. This is known as alimony. Although there is no set formula for determining alimony in New Hampshire, there are certain factors a court considers when awarding or modifying it.

Overview of Alimony

The purpose of alimony is to further the same standard of living that a couple enjoyed during their marriage after divorce. If one spouse cannot be self-supporting, courts in New Hampshire look to the other spouse's ability to pay when determining an alimony award. Further, a judge has tremendous flexibility in ordering how long the support should last. For example, if one spouse has a disability that does not allow her to work, the award may last indefinitely. By contrast, the support may be rehabilitative in nature, meaning that the award will terminate after the completion of a specified an event, such as obtaining a college degree.

Factors Considered

Judges in New Hampshire looks to several factors in determining the size and length of any alimony award. These factors include the length of the marriage, the specific needs of both parties, and each spouse's education and earning potential. The court may also take into consideration what each spouse received in terms of a property award from the divorce, as well as the federal tax consequences of the order on both parties.

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Marital Fault

A court may also take into account a spouse's actions if those actions were the reason for the divorce. This is known as a fault-based divorce. New Hampshire recognizes several fault-based grounds, including adultery and extreme cruelty. For example, when it comes to alimony, the court could conclude that the emotional or physical devastation caused by the guilty spouse justifies a larger award because it directly contributed to the other spouse's inability to become self-supporting. However, it is important to note that alimony is not awarded solely to punish the guilty spouse.

Modification of an Award

In New Hampshire, alimony awards terminate if the receiving spouse remarries. In addition, both permanent and temporary awards are subject to modification if the parties agree, or if a change of circumstances occurs. For all requests to modify alimony, the court looks at whether the financial situation of either party changes. An example is if the receiving spouse was awarded rehabilitative alimony to cover her expenses through college, but she became permanently disabled while in school.

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How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Receive Spousal Support?


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Alimony Laws in Tennessee

Alimony is a monetary award paid to the financially weaker spouse after a divorce. Tennessee courts can award one of several types of alimony available, based on a number of factors that generally include duration of marriage, age and mental health of the receiving spouse, and education and potential need for training for the receiving spouse. The type of alimony awarded is based on the spouses' circumstances, and the court may award more than one type of alimony, where appropriate. The law also dictates when alimony can be modified, as well as when the obligation to pay terminates.

Petition for Alimony Modification

After divorce, life progresses as jobs and promotions are gained and lost, and health declines. Many changes affect incomes, earning capacities, as well as needs. As these changes take place, a spouse paying alimony may require a decrease in payments, or a receiving spouse may require an increase in alimony. Whether or not a court will modify an alimony order depends on the terms of the original order, the type of alimony awarded and individual circumstance. As state law governs all aspects of divorce, the paperwork and procedure for obtaining a modification can vary from state to state.

Is it True a Husband Always Has to Pay Alimony When They Get Divorced?

When couples divorce, one or both spouses may ask the court to award alimony, also known as spousal support and maintenance. The court looks at a variety of factors when determining whether alimony should be granted, in what amount and how long it should last. However, courts are prohibited from awarding alimony based on gender or excluding a spouse from receiving it for the same reason.

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