2018 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title XLIII - Domestic Relations
Chapter 458 - Annulment, Divorce and Separation
Section 458:19 - Alimony.

Universal Citation: NH Rev Stat § 458:19 (2018)

[RSA 458:19 effective until January 1, 2019; see also RSA 458:19 set out below.]
    458:19 Alimony. –
I. Upon motion of either party for alimony payments, the court shall make orders for the payment of alimony to the party in need of alimony, either temporary or permanent, for a definite or indefinite period of time, if the motion for alimony payments is made within 5 years of the decree of nullity or divorce and the court finds that:
(a) The party in need lacks sufficient income, property, or both, including property apportioned in accordance with RSA 458:16-a, to provide for such party's reasonable needs, taking into account the style of living to which the parties have become accustomed during the marriage; and
(b) The party from whom alimony is sought is able to meet reasonable needs while meeting those of the party seeking alimony, taking into account the style of living to which the parties have become accustomed during the marriage; and
(c) The party in need is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment at a standard of living that meets reasonable needs or is allocated parental rights and responsibilities under RSA 461-A for a child of the parties whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the parent not seek employment outside the home.
II. Upon motion of either party, the court may make orders for the payment of an alimony allowance when such orders would be just and equitable.
III. Upon a decree of nullity or divorce, or upon the renewal, modification, or extension of a prior order for alimony, the court may order alimony to be paid for such length of time as the parties may agree or the court orders.
IV. (a) The court may make orders for alimony in a lump sum, periodic payments, or both.
(b) In determining the amount of alimony, the court shall consider the length of the marriage; the age, health, social or economic status, occupation, amount and sources of income, the property awarded under RSA 458:16-a, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties; the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income; the fault of either party as defined in RSA 458:16-a, II(l); and the federal tax consequences of the order.
(c) In determining amount and sources of income, the court shall not consider a minor child's social security benefit payments or a second or subsequent spouse's income. The court may consider veterans' disability benefits collected by either or both parties to the extent permitted by federal law.
(d) The court may also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the noneconomic contribution of each of the parties to the family unit.
(e) In any proceeding for modification of an existing alimony order, the earned or unearned income and social security disability payments of a spouse of the obligor party shall not be considered a source of income to that obligor party for the purpose of modification, unless the obligor party resigns from or refuses employment or is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, in which case the income of a subsequent spouse may be imputed to the obligor party only to the extent that such obligor party could have earned income in his or her usual employment. In such actions, the court may consider the veteran's disability benefits of a spouse of the obligor party to the extent permitted by federal law.
V. The unanticipated consequences of changes in federal tax legislation or regulations may be grounds to modify any alimony order or agreement.
VI. The court shall specify written reasons for the granting or denial of any motion for an alimony allowance.
VII. In cases where the court issues an order for permanent alimony for a definite period of time, such order may be renewed, upon the petition of either party, provided that such petition is made within 5 years of the termination date of the permanent alimony order. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to change or alter in any way the terms of the original alimony order.

[RSA 458:19 effective January 1, 2019; see also RSA 458:19 in the main volume.]

458:19 Alimony; Definitions. –
In RSA 458:19-a and RSA 458:19-aa:
I. "Alimony" means one or more payments made to, or for the benefit of, a spouse or former spouse.
II. "Effective date" means the date when an order takes effect under court rule.
III. "Exclusions from gross income" mean Social Security benefits received on behalf of a minor child; capital gains from property received in the parties' divorce; income of a subsequent spouse, except as provided in RSA 458:19-aa, II; and income from overtime or a second job if the party has a full time job and such overtime or second income began:
(a) After the parties separated or a petition for divorce or legal separation was filed, whichever occurred first; or
(b) In an action for modification, if such income began after the existing alimony award.
IV. "Full retirement age" means the age when the payor is eligible to receive full retirement benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Social Security program.
V. "Gross income" means all income from any source, whether earned or unearned, including, but not limited to, wages, salary, commissions, tips, annuities, social security benefits, trust income, lottery or gambling winnings, interest, dividends, investment income, net rental income, self-employment income, business profits, pensions, bonuses, and payments from other government programs (except public assistance programs, including aid to families with dependent children, aid to the permanently and totally disabled, supplemental security income, food stamps, and general assistance received from a county or town), including, but not limited to, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, unemployment benefits, and disability benefits, but not exclusions from gross income as defined in paragraph III.
VI. "Income assignment" means an alimony order assigning a portion of the payor's income directly to the payee under the provisions of RSA 458-B.
VII. "Length of marriage" means the number of months from the date of marriage to the date of service of the petition for divorce, legal separation, or annulment.
VIII. "Modification" means any increase or decrease in the amount or duration in alimony, other than because of the cohabitation, remarriage, or death of the payee, or the retirement of the payor.
IX. "Payee" means a person who is receiving or is to receive alimony.
X. "Payor" means a person who is paying or is to pay alimony.
XI. "Reimbursement alimony" means one or more payments to a spouse or former spouse to compensate him or her for economic or non-economic contribution to the financial resources of the payor.
XII. "Step-down order" means an order that decreases payments in specified steps.
XIII. "Step-up order" means an order that increases payments in specified steps.
XIV. "Temporary alimony" means periodic support payments to or on behalf of a spouse while a case is pending and ending on the effective date of the divorce, legal separation, or annulment. Such alimony shall not be counted toward or subject to either the formula or the duration limits in RSA 458:19-a, III, unless the court finds that the temporary alimony was of unusually long duration.
XV. "Term alimony" means periodic payments made to a spouse or former spouse after the effective date of the final decree.

Source. RS 148:13. CS 157:13. GS 163:12. GL 182:12. PS 175:14. PL 287:16. 1937, 154:1. RL 339:16. RSA 458:19. 1981, 275:1. 1985, 175:1. 1987, 278:2. 1991, 123:1. 1996, 32:4, 5. 2000, 178:2, 3. 2001, 246:2, 3. 2005, 273:3, eff. Oct. 1, 2005. 2018, 310:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2019.

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