We can help one partner get back on her or his feet. You may either be very pleased to hear that alimony is alive and well in New Hampshire, or you may be very upset to hear that it can be ordered by the courts in this state. An essential part of your initial consultation with a qualified family lawyer must include a frank and open discussion about whether the facts of your particular case support a claim for alimony, and if so, whether the alimony will be temporary, short-term, longer-term, or phased out over time as the recipient of the alimony is able to get on his or her feet financially.
In determining whether to order any form of alimony, a court will consider a number of factors such as the length of the marriage, the financial need of the receiving spouse, the financial ability to pay of the paying spouse, the education of both spouses, the employment opportunities and future employment potential of both spouses, the age and health of both spouses, and the fault (if any) which led to the divorce, among other things.
While alimony is intended to be rehabilitative, to be paid for a period of time to allow a spouse to become self-sufficient, it can go on for years. A wiser approach to alimony may be to ask the Court to phase it out over time as the receiving spouse gets back into the workforce. Under this approach, alimony could start at a certain level and then decrease regularly and gradually over time as the recipient obtains better work and better pay. Note, however, that if the receiving spouse has been a homemaker for the entirety of the marriage, and he/she is older, then the Court may determine that a phase-out approach is not fair because the receiving spouse will never be able to support him or herself without assistance from the other spouse.
Another focus in an alimony case is whether there is enough income available for alimony to be paid. In other words: Can the paying spouse afford to pay alimony and still meet his or her own reasonable expenses? Does the receiving spouse actually need the support?
If alimony is ordered by the court, alimony payments can be used as a tax deduction, and alimony received is considered income for tax purposes.
We have answers.
Alimony is a very important component of family law and should not be overlooked during your initial consultation with your attorney. Let our alimony lawyer investigate this issue for you. Bring us your questions; we have answers.