Educating You About Your Legal Rights
In many states’ family law proceedings, the courts presume that any assets acquired while you were married are jointly owned. However, New Hampshire’s definition of marital property also includes previously owned assets and inheritances. All property in which either party has an interest, including inherited property and property owned prior to marriage, is considered to be marital property. It does not matter in whose name the property is titled. Thus, the court will require an inventory of the marital estate and a valuation of each asset before making any property division determinations.
Working With A Professional Team
At Schwartzberg Law, we may draw upon our established relationships with other financial professionals, such as forensic accountants, for hard-to-value items such as pension funds, stock options, an individual’s interest in a trust or business assets.
Fighting For Fair Outcomes
State law also presumes that your marital estate will be divided equitably. This means fairly, not necessarily equally. Generally, an equal distribution is considered a good starting point, but the court may consider various factors when determining the final numbers.
Until recently, there has been very little guidance regarding spousal support, other than the fact that alimony is generally awarded for a limited period of time so that the recipient may develop a new source of income. This is called “rehabilitative alimony.”
With regard to rehabilitative alimony, the court sets the terms of this discretionary award, including the amount and duration. In reviewing a request for alimony, the court will consider the party’s need for financial support to meet his or her reasonable needs, as demonstrated through financial affidavits, tax returns and other evidence. There are no guarantees due to the discretionary nature of this award, but if a court grants an award, it is generally for a short term. The rationale is to provide assistance so that the recipient can become financially self-sustaining.
However, legislation was recently passed that will provide more specific guidance regarding the amount and duration surrounding alimony. This will go into effect for cases filed after Jan. 1, 2019.