How is it determined in a divorce who gets what property?
04/28/2009 - Divorce - State: NH #16350
I live in NH, have 3 children (13, 7, & 3) & married for 9 years. My husband adopted the 13 year old. We've had our home for 5 years. Although we're joint tenants on the deed, he's the only mortgagor on the mortgage. How does this play out in terms of divorce?
New Hampshire is a so-called "equitable distribution" state. This means that the division of property and debts between the divorcing parties should be fair and equitable, but not necessarily equal.
All custody determinations are guided by the best interests of the child. A presumption exists in determining custodial arrangements that joint custody is in the child's best interests, unless there are allegations of child abuse. No preference shall be given to a party in a custody determination on the basis of a party's sex. The court will give consideration to the wishes of the child.
The following are NH statutes:
458:16-a Property Settlement.
I. Property shall include all tangible and intangible property and assets, real or personal, belonging to either or both parties, whether title to the property is held in the name of either or both parties. Intangible property includes, but is not limited to, employment benefits, vested and non-vested pension or other retirement benefits, or savings plans. To the extent permitted by federal law, property shall include military retirement and veterans' disability benefits.
II. When a dissolution of a marriage is decreed, the court may order an equitable division of property between the parties. The court shall presume that an equal division is an. equitable distribution of property, unless the court establishes a trust fund under RSA 458:20 or unless the court decides that an equal division would not be appropriate or equitable after considering one or more of the following factors:
(a) The duration of the marriage.
(b) The age, health, social or economic status, occupation, vocational skills, employability, separate property, amount and sources of income, needs and liabilities of each party.
(c) The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
(d) The ability of the custodial parent, if any, to engage in gainful employment without substantially interfering with the interests of any minor children in the custody of said party.
(e) The need of the custodial parent, if any, to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects.
(f) The actions of either party during the marriage which contributed to the growth or diminution in value of property owned by either or both of the parties.
(g) Significant disparity between the parties in relation to contributions to the marriage, including contributions to the care and education of the children and the care and management of the home.
(h) Any direct or indirect contribution made by one party to help educate or develop the career or employability of the other party and any interruption of either party's educational or personal career opportunities for the benefit of the other's career or for the benefit of the parties' marriage or children.
(i) The expectation of pension or retirement rights acquired prior to or during the marriage.
(j) The tax consequences for each party.
(k) The value of property that is allocated by a valid prenuptial contract made in good faith by the parties.
(l) The fault of either party as specified in RSA 458:7 if said fault caused the breakdown of the marriage and:
(1) Caused substantial physical or mental pain and suffering; or
(2) Resulted in substantial economic loss to the marital estate or the injured party.
(m) The value of any property acquired prior to the marriage and property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage.
(n) The value of any property acquired by gift, devise, or descent.
(o) Any other factor that the court deems relevant.
III. If either or both parties retain an ownership interest in an education savings account held on behalf of a child of the marriage, including a qualified tuition program under 26 U.S.C. Section 529, the court may, in its discretion, preserve the account for its original purpose or may treat the account as property of the marriage subject to equitable division under this section.
IV. The court shall specify written reasons for the division of property which it orders.
461-A:6 Determination of Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Best Interest.
I. In determining parental rights and responsibilities, the court shall be guided by the best interests of the child, and shall consider the following factors:
(a) The relationship of the child with each parent and the ability of each parent to provide the child with nurture, love, affection, and guidance.
(b) The ability of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment.
(c) The child's developmental needs and the ability of each parent to meet them, both in the present and in the future.
(d) The quality of the child's adjustment to the child's school and community and the potential effect of any change.
(e) The ability and disposition of each parent to foster a positive relationship and frequent and continuing physical, written, and telephonic contact with the other parent, except where contact will result in harm to the child or to a parent.
(f) The support of each parent for the child's contact with the other parent as shown by allowing and promoting such contact.
(g) The support of each parent for the child's relationship with the other parent.
(h) The relationship of the child with any other person who may significantly affect the child.
(i) The ability of the parents to communicate, cooperate with each other, and make joint decisions concerning the children.
(j) Any evidence of abuse, as defined in RSA 173-B:1, I or RSA 169-C:3, II, and the impact of the abuse on the child and on the relationship between the child and the abusing parent.
(k) If a parent is incarcerated, the reason for and the length of the incarceration, and any unique issues that arise as a result of incarceration.
(l) Any other additional factors the court deems relevant.
II. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that a minor child is of sufficient maturity to make a sound judgment, the court may give substantial weight to the preference of the mature minor child as to the determination of parental rights and responsibilities. Under these circumstances, the court shall also give due consideration to other factors which may have affected the minor child's preference, including whether the minor child's preference was based on undesirable or improper influences.
III. In determining parental rights and responsibilities under this section, including residential responsibility, the court shall not apply a preference for one parent over the other because of the sex of the child, the sex of a parent, or the financial resources of a parent.
IV. If the court finds that a parent has been convicted of sexual abuse or sexual assault against such parent's minor child or minor stepchild, the court may prohibit contact between such parent and the victim of the abuse and any sibling or step-sibling of the victim. The court shall make orders that best protect the victim of the abuse and the siblings and step-siblings of such victim. In this paragraph, "sexual abuse" shall mean sexual abuse as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XXVII-a, and "sexual assault" shall mean sexual assault as provided in RSA 632-A:2, RSA 632-A:3, and RSA 632-A:4.
V. If the court determines that it is in the best interest of the children, it shall in its decree grant reasonable visitation privileges to a party who is a stepparent of the children or to the grandparents of the children pursuant to RSA 461-A:13. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit or require an award of parental rights and responsibilities to a stepparent or grandparent if the court determines that such an award is in the best interest of the child.
VI. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child according to RSA 461-A:16.
VII. At the request of an aggrieved party, the court shall set forth the reasons for its decision in a written order.
461-A:4 Parenting Plans; Contents.
I. In any proceeding to establish or modify a judgment providing for parenting time with a child, except for matters filed under RSA 173-B, the parents shall develop and file with the court a parenting plan to be included in the court's decree. If the parents are unable to develop a parenting plan, the court may develop it. In developing a parenting plan under this section, the court shall consider only the best interests of the child as provided under RSA 461-A:6 and the safety of the parties.
II. A parenting plan may include provisions relative to:
(a) Decision-making responsibility and residential responsibility.
(b) Information sharing and access, including telephone and electronic access.
(c) Legal residence of a child for school attendance.
(d) Parenting schedule, including:
(1) Holiday, birthday, and vacation planning.
(2) Weekends, including holidays, and school in-service days preceding or following weekends.
(e) Transportation and exchange of the child.
(f) Relocation of parents.
(g) Procedure for review and adjustment of the plan.
(h) Methods for resolving disputes.
Please see the information at the following links:
http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/contested-and-uncontested-divorce/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/child-custody-and-support/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/child-support-guidelines/ http://lawdigest.uslegal.com/divorce/state-faq/7001/ http://lawdigest.uslegal.com/divorce/state-law-summary/3624/ http://lawdigest.uslegal.com/family-laws/divorce,-separation-and-annulment-overview/7338/Please see the forms at the following link:
04/28/2009 - Category: Divorce - State: NH #16350
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