Divorce Under New Hampshire Law
Divorce can be stressful for all involved, even for those seeking to end their marriage amicably. The New Hampshire divorce attorneys of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. have helped many New Hampshire residents though this difficult time by providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance. If you are going through a divorce, contact the experienced attorneys at Tenn And Tenn.
At Least One Party Must Live in New Hampshire to File for Divorce
New Hampshire requires that certain jurisdictional requirements be met before a divorce proceeding can be filed. If, for example, both spouses live in New Hampshire or the filing party has lived in New Hampshire one year, the divorce can be filed here. Additionally, if the party filing for divorce lives in the state and can serve the divorce papers on the other spouse in New Hampshire, the divorce can also be filed here.
Once one party files a petition for divorce, a letter will be sent to the respondent notifying him/her that he/she has 10 days to pick up their copy from court. If this is not done within 10 days, the court will send the party who filed the paperwork instructions on how to have the paperwork served by certified mail or by a Sheriff’s office.
The Marriage’s Assets Must First be Valued
One of the court’s primary responsibilities in a divorce proceeding, other than determining parental rights and responsibilities, is to divide the parties’ marital assets. The first step in dividing the assets is that each spouse must submit a financial affidavit, which essentially itemizes his/her assets and expenses. New Hampshire law requires both parties to complete a financial affidavit, and also imposes an obligation on the parties to update the affidavit as information changes.
The Court Will Then Equitably Divide the Assets
Once the court determines the value of the marriage’s assets, it will make an equitable division of the marital estate. An equal division of the assets (i.e., a 50-50 division) is presumed to be an equitable division. The Court can also consider arguments presented by the parties or their counsel concerning what a different proportional allocation should be ordered.
In determining what constitutes an equitable division of assets, the court considers various factors, including:
- The duration of the marriage;
- Each party’s age, health, socioeconomic status, and vocation;
- Possible future financial opportunities of each party;
- The conduct of each party during the marriage;
- The contribution one spouse has made to educate or develop the career of the other party; and
Spousal Support Can be Awarded
The court will also determine whether spousal support —alimony — should be ordered. Generally, if one spouse needs support and the other can provide it, the court may award alimony. Alimony is not permanent, and can cease if the factors that originally made it necessary change.
In determining whether spousal support is warranted, New Hampshire courts consider several factors:
- The length of the marriage;
- Each party’s particular circumstances, including age, occupation, and financial needs; and
- The ability of each party to make money in the future.
A Knowledgeable Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
While New Hampshire law creates the basic procedure for every divorcing party, the details of each specific divorce are unique. If you are ending your marriage, an experienced New Hampshire divorce lawyer can help protect your rights. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of the experienced attorneys of Tenn And Tenn, P.A., call (603) 624-3700 or visit our contact page.