Some spouses will voluntarily decrease his/her income in order to impact the court’s decision on the payment of alimony. To protect against fraud, the New Hampshire courts may consider the parties’ past income and earning potential to determining if he/she has the ability to pay alimony. Just because a party produces a financial affidavit claiming that he/she earns a certain income does not prevent the court from looking at past earnings to determine if the representation is correct. This applies equally to the party being requested to pay alimony as well the party requesting to receive alimony.
It is important to review the spouse’s income going back several years from the date of separation or divorce filing. Unfortunately, some individuals “divorce plan” meaning he/she intentionally hold off on filing for divorce in order to hide assets or income, or to avoid suspicion by decreasing their income in advance of the separation. Obtaining and securing financial documents proving the prior income may be critical in refuting the spouse’s claim of decreased income.
If you have any questions regarding alimony, please contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.