Nashua Spousal Support and Alimony Attorney
Serving Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a gender-neutral award based on need and the ability to pay. The amount and duration of the alimony award is controlled by a number of mandatory factors that must be considered by the court when considering spousal support.
Sweeping changes to spousal support laws occurred in 2019, in part due to the change in alimony tax treatment. Each case presents fact specific details that determine if, how much, and for how long spousal support may be awarded. Some key factors must be analyzed before rendering an opinion.
Spousal support is gauged by the length of the marriage. The length is calculated from the date of marriage to the date of service of the petition for divorce, legal separation, or annulment. The type of spousal support can be reimbursement alimony or term alimony. Spousal support is subject to change (i.e., modification) of the amount, duration, or to terminate alimony altogether.
Some of the factors considered by the court when addressing spousal support are:
- ✔ Is spousal support or alimony necessary?
- 1. The party in need lacks sufficient income, property, or both, including property apportioned in accordance with RSA 458:16-a, to provide for his or her own reasonable needs, taking into account the marital lifestyle and the extent to which the parties must both fairly adjust their standards of living based on the creation and maintenance of separate households; or,
- 2. The party in need is unable to be self-supporting at a standard of living that meets reasonable needs through appropriate employment, 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 or limit the hours of such employment; and,
- 3. The party from whom alimony is sought is able to meet his or her own reasonable needs, taking into account the marital lifestyle and the extent to which the parties must both fairly adjust their standards of living based on the creation and maintenance of separate households, while meeting the reasonable needs of the party seeking alimony.
- ✔ The duration of the marriage.
- ✔ The health, including disability, chronic or severe mental or physical illness, or other unusual health circumstances of either party.
- ✔ The degree and duration of any financial dependency of one party on the other.
- ✔ The vocational skills, occupation, benefits available from employment, and the present and future employability of both parties.
- ✔ Any voluntary unemployment or underemployment of either party.
- ✔ Any special needs of a minor or adult child of the parties.
- ✔ The property awarded under RSA 458:16-a.
- ✔ The conduct of the parties, including domestic violence or the fault of either party if that fault caused the breakdown of the marriage, as well as if that fault (1) caused substantial physical or mental pain, or (2) caused suffering or resulted in substantial economic loss to the marital estate or the injured party.
- ✔ Differences in the parties' benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Social Security program.
- ✔ Diminution of significant assets by a party, coupled with a lack of sufficient assets from which property can be equitably divided or recouped under RSA 458:16-a.
- ✔ Any other reason the court deems material and relevant.
The factor analysis is different in each case. A private consultation with Attorney Driscoll is necessary to learn how spousal support may be addressed under the facts of your situation. Attorney Driscoll explains the law as it applies in your case, in plain-English.
Non-Payment of Spousal Support or Alimony
The non-payment of a spousal support or alimony obligation can have serious consequences on the recipient as well as on the obligor. The court takes seriously the contempt of spousal support and alimony orders. The court reviews such matters as an affront to the court. Depending on the circumstances, the obligor can experience jail time.
Attorney Driscoll explains the law in plain-English. He can prepare you for what lies ahead. In a fog of chaos, I can work with you to develop your goals and provide you with choices and direction. Call (603) 589-4040 for a private consultation. His handicapped accessible office is conveniently located at 20 Trafalgar Square in Nashua, NH. My office is quickly accessible from Amherst Street (Route 101A) as well as Exits 7W and 8 off the Everett Turnpike.