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New Hampshire Family Law Blog

Using a QDRO to split pension plans during divorce

With the advent of social media sites such as Pinterest, it seems that many people in New Hampshire and other areas of the country have an increased interest in completing certain tasks themselves, as opposed to hiring a professional who could do it on their behalf. The goal behind doing it themselves may be to save money. However, many have found that failing to consult a professional regarding certain aspects of a divorce could ultimately lead to more expenses.

For example, some in New Hampshire choose to divide their assets on their own. While it is certainly admirable that some divorcing couples are able to come to such agreements without involving attorneys, splitting a retirement account without a qualified domestic relations order can be costly. Some professionals claim that they are only asked to become involved in the process when couples need help rectifying their mistakes.

Using a prenuptial agreement to ease a divorce

Most people in New Hampshire are familiar with the idea of a prenuptial agreement. However, even though such a legal document has a variety of important uses, it has many different negative connotations. Unfortunately, this view may deter some people from creating what could be a tool that is useful in circumstances beyond a divorce.

For some, a prenuptial agreement is similar to car insurance. People often pay for protection with the hope that they will never actually need it. Such is the case with a prenuptial agreement. It is not simply planning for divorce, but ensuring there are protections in place in case such an event occurs or in other circumstances such as time death of a spouse.

Your name may be on the birth certificate, but that's not enough

Like many other couples in New Hampshire, you and your partner may share a child even though you are not married. When your child was born, you put his or her name on the birth certificate, so you believed that you had all the rights and responsibilities that go along with being a father. You did not know at the time that this was not sufficient to establish you as the legal father of your child, but at the time, the only thing that mattered was caring for your child.

Then, your relationship with your child's mother ended, and you discovered that you don't have the right to custody or visitation because the courts don't recognize you as the legal father of your child. You may be panicking a bit at this point, but there is no need to do so. You can rectify the situation, but you will have to go through certain steps first.

Audrina Patridge divorce proceedings appear contentious

Relationships are often hard work. Even couples in New Hampshire who feel passionately about one another can end up struggling when they live together. For example, reality star Audrina Patridge and her husband, Corey Bohan, are now seeking a divorce after less than a year of marriage.

Patridge initially filed for divorce approximately a month ago. At the time, she requested a restraining order due to what she describes as Bohan's abusive behavior. Court papers indicate that she claimed to have fled the house in fear. She was given a temporary restraining order as well as a child abduction prevention order against her estranged husband.

Reasons couples in New Hampshire turn to divorce

All couples have their ups and downs. In fact, couples who are happy and those who are unhappy often face similar hardships. However, it is how these couples respond to these hardships that ultimately play a role in the overall survival of a romantic relationship. For some couples in New Hampshire, the relationship is sometimes so irretrievably broken that the only path to happiness for both people is through seeking a divorce.

There are a variety of different reasons that couples may turn to divorce. When many couples marry, they do so knowing that they have differences they must overcome. However, in the glow of a happy relationship, they are likely determined that they will be able to work together. As the years pass, each person will likely change as will their wishes regarding their relationship and their children, often making the couple incompatible. For example, if each person is from a different religion and the couple cannot come to an agreement regarding how children should be raised -- especially if one parent changes his or her mind -- the couple may be up facing a conflict they may have difficulty reconciling.

Violation of court order leads to child custody change

Parents in New Hampshire and other areas of the country often struggle to parent their children together, especially when their romantic relationship has come to an end. As a result, they often work with an attorney to create an agreement that will lay out how a variety of different parenting issues will be resolved. Failure to follow agreements related to child custody and parenting could have serious consequences.

A recent case in another state illustrates the seriousness of failing to following court orders. The issue involves vaccinations for a young child. The judge in the case indicates that the parents agreed that although the mother objected to grouping the shots together, they each signed a consent order directing that the vaccinations would be administered. However, the mother, who had primary custody of the child, later claimed that vaccinations are against her religious beliefs and did not allow her son to receive them.

Study shows genetic component to divorce

When people make the decision to get married, they are typically in love and ready to spend the rest of their lives together. However, it is difficult to predict how children, jobs and financial concerns can change a person over the course of their lives. For many couples in New Hampshire, these changes mean that the couple is no longer compatible and often lead to a divorce.

Psychologists in the United States and across the globe believe that many children of divorce will ultimately end up seeking a divorce as well. This connection was long believed to have an environmental component -- that experiencing their parent's divorce essentially skews their view of marriage and relationships. However, a recent study challenges that belief.

Collaborative law: Seeking a less stressful divorce

When two people decide to marry, they likely never envision a day in which they will want to end their marriage. However, the reality of the matter is that many couples will ultimately make the difficult decision to seek a divorce. In order to reduce some of the stress associated with the termination of a marriage, many people in New Hampshire seek more information about the collaborative law process.

In a collaborative divorce, a couple comes together in the spirit of compromise as they seek a resolution. Each has a lawyer to help ensure their voice is heard. Both parties also sign a contract at the beginning of proceedings, indicating their agreement to provide accurate documentation and come to proceedings in the spirit of compromise.

Do you think you could share a house with your spouse in divorce?

Many parents, perhaps some here in New Hampshire, are trying out a fairly new shared custody arrangement during divorce referred to as "nesting." You might choose to implement the idea during your separation, and then develop a backup plan for after you finalize your divorce. That seems to be what many people do. However, some continue with their nesting lifestyle even after they've settled their divorces. If you were to try this new custody trend, the basic premise involves your kids continuing to live in your marital home.

You and your former spouse would take turns living with your kids. Of course, that means when it's not your turn you'd have to have somewhere else to live. There are pros and cons to the idea, but if you think it might be a viable option for your family, you can draw up an agreement and seek the court's approval.

Seeking financial security during a divorce

For many people in New Hampshire, one of the many factors that might prevent them from seeking to end their marriage is the state of their finances. However, by making smart decisions, often with the guidance of an experienced attorney, those seeking a divorce can help ensure that they make wise decisions that will protect them. By doing so, they may be able to ensure future financial stability.

One of the most difficult decisions that some people face during their divorce is what to do with their house. For many, it may be tempting to keep a house because of the sentiments attached to it and to prevent further upheaval in their lives. However, many people are unable to afford the upkeep of their house once they are only living on one income. Some people may choose to keep the house in exchange for a comparably valued liquid asset, such as a retirement account, but due to the costs of maintaining the house, it may be a better idea to re-examine that issue.