SB 444 - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE
SENATE BILL 444
SPONSORS: Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. French, Dist 7; Rep. Rice, Hills. 37; Rep. M. Smith, Straf. 6; Rep. Wall, Straf. 6
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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
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  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.
(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.
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.