HB 249 – AS INTRODUCED
COMMITTEE:\tChildren and Family Law
\tThis bill limits the duration of orders for permanent alimony. The bill also requires that acts of falsification made in a proceeding under RSA 458 be referred for criminal prosecution under RSA 641.
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Explanation:\tMatter added to current law appears in bold italics.
\t\tMatter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
\t\tMatter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen
AN ACT\trelative to the award of alimony and the enforcement of orders under RSA 458.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
\t\tIII. Upon a decree of nullity or divorce, or upon the renewal, modification, or extension of a prior order for alimony, the court may order alimony to be paid for such length of time as the parties may agree or the court orders[.] however the court:
\t\t\t(a) May not order alimony that remains in effect:
\t\t\t\t(1) Five years after the decree of nullity or divorce, if:
\t\t\t\t\t(A) The parties were married to each other for less than 10 years and the eligibility of the party for whom alimony is ordered is established under paragraph I; or
\t\t\t\t\t(B) The parties were married to each other for at least 10 years but not more than 20 years;
\t\t\t\t(2) Seven years after the decree of nullity or divorce, if the parties were married to each other for at least 20 years but not more than 30 years; or
\t\t\t\t(3) Ten years after the decree of nullity or divorce, if the parties were married to each other for 30 years or more; and
\t\t\t(b) Shall limit the duration of the alimony order to the shortest reasonable period that allows the party seeking alimony to earn sufficient income to provide for the party’s minimum reasonable needs, unless the ability of the party to provide for the party’s minimum reasonable needs is substantially or totally diminished because of:
\t\t\t\t(1) A physical or mental disability that occurred during the marriage of the party seeking alimony;
\t\t\t\t(2) Duties as the custodian of an infant or young child of the marriage; or
\t\t\t\t(3) Another compelling impediment that occurred during the marriage to earning sufficient income to provide for the party’s minimum reasonable needs.
\t\tVII. In cases where the court issues an order for permanent alimony for a definite period of time, such order may be renewed, upon the petition of either party, provided that such petition is made within 5 years of the decree of nullity or divorce or within one year of the termination date of the permanent alimony order. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to change or alter in any way the terms of the original alimony order.
\t\tVIII.(a) The obligation to pay future alimony terminates on the death of either party or on the remarriage of the obligee.
\t\t\t(b) After a hearing, the court shall order the termination of the alimony obligation if the court finds that the obligee cohabits with another person with whom the obligee has a dating or romantic relationship in a permanent place of abode on a continuing basis.
\t\t\t(c) Termination of the alimony obligation does not terminate the obligation to pay any alimony that accrued before the date of termination, whether as a result of death or remarriage under subparagraph (a) or a court order under subparagraph (b).
\t\tI. Upon such petition an attachment of either spouse’s property may be made as in case of a petition for divorce; and the court may make interlocutory orders therein as in divorce cases, and its orders and decrees shall be enforced in like manner.
\t\tII. In any matter before the circuit court family division during which evidence is or has been accepted in the form of an offer of proof, all acts of falsification, as outlined under RSA 641, shall be referred for prosecution in the superior court. Whether an act of falsification has occurred is a question of law to be determined by the superior court.