SB444 (2020) Detail

Amending the alimony statute due to changes in federal tax law.


SB 444 - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

01/30/2020   0166s

2020 SESSION

20-2948

05/10

 

SENATE BILL 444

 

AN ACT amending the alimony statute due to changes in federal tax law.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. French, Dist 7; Rep. Rice, Hills. 37; Rep. M. Smith, Straf. 6; Rep. Wall, Straf. 6

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill revises the formula for term alimony based on the fact that under current federal income tax laws, alimony is not deductible to the payor and taxable to the payee.  The bill adjusts the formula in the event that such a deduction is permitted in the future.  The bill also explicitly provides that consideration of federal income tax consequences may warrant adjustment to the amount of term alimony.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

01/30/2020   0166s 20-2948

05/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT amending the alimony statute due to changes in federal tax law.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Annulment, Divorce and Separation; Term Alimony.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 458:19-a, II(a) to read as follows:

II.(a)  The amount of a term alimony order shall be the lesser of the payee's reasonable need, or a formula based on [30] 23 percent of the difference between the parties' gross incomes at the time the order is created, unless the court finds that justice requires an adjustment.  In making this calculation, gross income as defined in RSA 458:19, V shall be:

2  New Subparagraph; Annulment, Divorce and Separation; Term Alimony; Formula Percentage.  Amend RSA 458:19-a, II to insert after subparagraph (b) the following new subparagraph:

(c)  The formula percentage in subparagraph (a) of 23 percent is based on alimony not being deductible to the payor and taxable to the payee under federal income tax law.  If alimony becomes deductible to the payor and taxable to the payee under federal income tax law, the formula shall be based on 30 percent of the difference between the parties' gross incomes.

3  Annulment, Divorce and Separation; Term Alimony; Consideration of Special Circumstances; Impact of Federal Tax Law.  Amend RSA 458:19-a, IV(j) to read as follows:

(j)  The impact of federal tax law on the parties including the allocation of applicable tax-related benefits.

(k)  Any other reason the court deems material and relevant.

4  New Paragraph; Alimony Modification; Effective Date.  Amend RSA 458:19-aa by inserting after paragraph I the following new paragraph:

I-a.  Any modification may be retroactive as the parties may agree.  If contested, an alimony modification shall not be effective prior to the date that the notice of the petition for modification was given to the other party.

5  New Paragraphs; Modification of Alimony Orders; Applicable Law Based on Filing Date of Initial Petition For Divorce or Legal Separation.  Amend RSA 458:19-aa by inserting after paragraph IX the following new paragraphs:

X.(a)(1)  The provisions of RSA 458:14, 458:19, 458:19-a, and 458:19-aa, as amended or inserted by 2018, 310, shall not apply to modifications of orders in cases whose initial petition for divorce or legal separation was filed prior to January 1, 2019, unless the court finds that the original order:

(A)  Was based on an agreement of the parties adopting some or all of the provisions of that act; or

(B)  Specified that the court was adopting some or all of the provisions of that act.

(2)  Absent such a finding, modifications of these orders shall be controlled by the law in effect on the date the initial petition for divorce or legal separation was filed.

(b)  Parties to any case in which the initial petition was filed prior to January 1, 2019 may agree to adopt some or all of the provisions of 2018, 310:

(1)  In the original agreement or any modification of it; or

(2)  In modifying any court order.

XI.  An alimony order effective on or after January 1, 2019, including one based on an agreement of the parties, may be modified in accordance with RSA 458:19-a, II, without the need to demonstrate the findings in RSA 458:19-a, VI, provided that:

(a)  The alimony order was issued pursuant to RSA 458:14, 458:19, 458:19-a, and 458:19-aa, as amended or inserted by 2018, 310;

(b)  The alimony amount is greater than 23 percent of the difference in the parties gross incomes as defined in RSA 458:19-a, II(a); and

(c)  The petition for modification is filed by July 1, 2021.

6  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.  

Links

SB444 at GenCourtMobile
SB444 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 21, 2020 Senate Hearing
Jan. 30, 2020 Senate Floor Vote
March 17, 2020 House Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB444 Revision: 8073 Date: Jan. 30, 2020, 11:28 a.m.
SB444 Revision: 7615 Date: Dec. 19, 2019, 9:52 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 To Be Introduced 01/08/2020 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 1
Jan. 21, 2020 Hearing: 01/21/2020, Room 100, SH, 09:15 am; SC 2
Jan. 30, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0166s, 01/30/2020; Vote 5-0; CC; SC 4
Jan. 30, 2020 Committee Amendment # 2020-0166s, AA, VV; 01/30/2020; SJ 2
Jan. 30, 2020 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2020-0166s, MA, VV; OT3rdg; 01/30/2020; SJ 2
Jan. 9, 2020 Introduced 01/09/2020 and referred to Children and Family Law HJ 2 P. 59
March 17, 2020 Public Hearing: 03/17/2020 10:45 am LOB 206
June 30, 2020 Vacated and Laid on Table MA VV 06/30/2020