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Important Things to Remember About Modification of Alimony

If you were awarded or ordered to pay alimony as a result of divorce, you should remember that you can modify it (amount and/or duration) in the future. In this blog, we provide you with general information that will allow you to determine if you can request modification of your current alimony order.

Note: The following information applies if you were ordered to pay or awarded alimony after January 1, 2019.

  1. Only “term alimony” can be modified. Term alimony is the alimony that is paid in periodic alimony payments. The purpose of which is to allow both spouses to maintain a reasonable standard of living. RSA 458:19, XV; 458:19-a, I
  2. The Court can modify the amount or/and duration of alimony.
  3. Alimony may be modified if: (i) there has been a substantial and unforeseeable change of circumstances since the effective date of the alimony order; (ii) there is no undue hardship on either party; and (iii) justice requires a change in amount or duration.
  4. If the prior alimony order has ended, reinstatement may be requested only within 5 years after the last payment of alimony.
  5. Alimony ends when the paying party reaches full retirement age or actually retires, whichever is later, unless the parties agree otherwise or the court finds that justice requires a different termination date (reasonable notice of retirement is required).
  6. If justice requires, the court can extend alimony past full retirement age or actual retirement up to an amount that equalizes the parties’ gross benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Social Security program.
  7. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the obligation to pay alimony ends on the death of the receiving party and is a charge against the estate of the paying party, except to the extent that it is covered by life insurance or other security.
  8. Alimony can be terminated upon a finding of cohabitation of the receiving party.
  9. Cohabitation is defined as a relationship between a receiving party and another unrelated adult resembling that of a marriage, under such circumstances that it would be unjust to make an order for alimony, to continue any existing alimony order, or to continue the amount of an existing alimony order.
  10. If alimony terminates because of cohabitation or marriage, it can be reinstated after finding that the receiving party’s cohabitation has ceased or that a subsequent marriage has ended in divorce, if the request for reinstatement is made within 5 years of the effective date of the termination order.

Do you have more questions about modification of alimony? Contact our Manchester divorce lawyers to get the answers you are looking for. We can review your case and explain all of your rights under the law. Schedule your consultation today.