Alimony and Spousal Support

Alimony and spousal support are awardable in New Hampshire divorce cases. Many people are under the misconception that it is not. Many people also may be under the misconception that that it is just for women, or that it can only be awarded for a maximum of three years. Most of these misconceptions come from the history of alimony and information that is not current.

Alimony is awarded when one party is in need of funds to support the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed to during the marriage, measured against the ability of the other spouse to pay while still supporting a similar lifestyle.  Alimony can be awarded based upon many factors specified by statute.  The law relating to alimony is significantly changed by legislation that took effect in January 2019, although the older alimony laws may still be applicable if a couple got divorced and an alimony order was put into place before the 2019 law.

“Alimony can be awarded in New Hampshire divorce cases to either spouse. “

Alimony can be for a term of years or permanent, but in either event is modifiable if circumstances change from when the court made its order. Alimony can be made to end upon the occurrence of a specific event such as retirement or emancipation of children. Alimony typically ends upon the remarriage of the receiving spouse.

An example of an alimony modification could be if alimony is ordered for a term of three years by a court order anticipating that one spouse would complete college and begin a career, it may be extended to permanent alimony if that spouse becomes disabled. Permanent alimony may cease when one of the parties retires after a long working life or incurs a substantial reduction of income. How an alimony order is written, and what factors it is based on, are crucial in determining what changes in circumstances may allow that order to be adjusted later on.

New Hampshire does not recognize what is often called “palimony,” or alimony between unmarried couples. Alimony is only available where divorce has ended a marriage.

Navigating a divorce can be difficult, especially if you believe you will be entitled to receive or required to pay alimony to your spouse. For help, call us at (603) 932-6682 or complete this form and we are happy to set up a consultation to discuss your specific needs.