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Understanding Property Division In New Hampshire: Who Gets The Dog?

After divorce, the property settlement — which is either agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court — sets the groundwork for your financial life. It is important to make sure your rights and interests are protected at every stage.

The experienced family law attorneys at Clark Law PLLC will explain what constitutes the “marital estate” and how assets can be valuated and divided. We are also well-versed in handling prenuptial agreements, assets that predate the marriage and inheritances in a fair and equitable manner. We are knowledgeable about all kinds of issues – from your home to a closely-held business or membership in a professional association to your retirement accounts, and even to the family dog–when that issue is in dispute.

Equitable Distribution In New Hampshire

New Hampshire is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that marital assets must be divided between divorcing spouses in a way that is equitable, or fair. Equitable does not mean equal; a 50/50 split is not always fair. If your spouse’s conduct before the divorce or other factors make an unequal division of assets appropriate, you may be able to pursue a greater share of the marital estate. We can help you pursue your fair share in court or in negotiations.

If you and your spouse share marital debt, our lawyers can also help you explore the potential impact of a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy on the division of the marital estate and allocation of debt responsibility.

Property Division Lawyers Who Know The Nuances Of Divorce Law

While we explained above that New Hampshire is an equitable division state, the law does not necessarily dictate that each spouse receives 50 percent of the assets in every case. New Hampshire property division law outlines the process and factors that courts use to determine how to allocate assets and debts in divorce.

The so-called marital estate includes all tangible and intangible assets of the divorcing spouses. Courts are to begin with the assumption that it is equitable to divide the assets as close to 50/50 as possible. However, that is the starting point. Family court judges weigh a wide variety of factors the are part of the New Hampshire Property Settlement statute. The family court judge has wide discretion to adjust the final property division order in accordance with findings and an analysis of the law.

Our lawyers are highly astute in how courts apply the factors in historic case law that inform judges on the rule of law. When property division disputes are in contest during divorce, we fight hard to safeguard the rights and financial interests of out clients Notably, this experience and background in litigation is also beneficial in negotiations and medication. Because we take the time to prepare and present the facts and arguments, we are prepared to negotiate from a position of strength for our clients.

Negotiated or mediated results may often result in favorable outcomes with less stress, as well as less cost than hotly-contested litigation. Moreover, we are fully prepared to go to trial when negotiations or mediation proves futile. Along the course of representation, we explain the cost and benefits of each course of action to allow our clients to make informed choices.

Contact Our Experienced Property Division Attorneys

To learn more and begin protecting your property rights in divorce, we encourage you to contact us and arrange a free initial consultation at our office in Manchester, New Hampshire. Please send us an email or call 603-473-4338.