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New Hampshire Alimony
Spousal Support

In New Hampshire alimony may be awarded to either party if, when “taking into account the standard of living during the marriage,” a needy spouse lacks the income or property for his or her reasonable needs and the other spouse can pay; and “the spouse is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not seek employment outside the home.”

In determining amount and sources of income, the court does not consider a minor child’s social security benefit payments or a second or subsequent spouse’s income.

The court considers veterans’ disability benefits collected by either or both parties to the extent permitted by federal law.

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 non-economic contribution of each of the parties to the family unit.

Issues surrounding alimony or spousal support are viewed solely on a case-by-case basis in New Hampshire. New Hampshire alimony influences the distribution of property, and it can become intricately involved in a divorce settlement. When spouses are unable to reach an agreement on this issue, the Superior Court can order support on a case-by-case basis.

Types of Alimony

In New Hampshire courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony. Temporary alimony is granted at the discretion of the court during the divorce proceedings and before the final decree. Short-term alimony may be granted to allow the receiving party time to gain necessary skills. Long-Term, or permanent, alimony may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs, and is usually reserved for lengthy marriages.

Factors Considered by the Court

Alimony in New Hampshire is discretionary. In awarding alimony, a New Hampshire Court considers:

  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the age of the spouses;
  • the physical and emotional conditions of the spouses;
  • the vocational skills and employability of the spouse seeking support;
  • the tax consequences to each spouse;
  • the amount and sources of income of the spouses;
  • the occupation of the spouses;
  • the value of each spouse's property;
  • the liabilities and needs of each spouse;
  • the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
  • any marital fault if such fault caused the breakdown of the marriage and caused pain and suffering or economic loss;
  • the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of the marital property, including any non-economic contributions of each spouse to the family unit; and
  • the social and economic status of each spouse.

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