Division of Marital Property and Assets
The decision to file for divorce is an exceptionally difficult one to make for any couple, and moving forward with a new chapter in your life is certainly challenging. However, divorce proceedings in New Hampshire can often be even more overwhelming and stressful as there are a number of different issues that need to be agreed upon and settled before the divorce is finalized. One of the most complicated matters to settle in a divorce is the division of marital property and assets, which is essentially the dividing of you and your spouse's possessions and finances, including your home, pension and retirement accounts, and even vehicles.
The state of New Hampshire is considered an equitable distribution state, which means the court tries to equitably distribute property between the two parties.
Property and debt issues are typically settled between parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement, but if the parties cannot agree, the property is divided by the New Hampshire Court. In order to ensure you receive an appropriate divorce settlement and your best interests are protected, the New Hampshire division of marital property attorneys of the Anzalone Law Firm can provide you the professional assistance you need throughout the divorce process.What is Considered Marital Property?
In regards to the division of marital property and assets, it is important to understand what is deemed "marital property" in order to know what may be considered and divided in the divorce settlement. Courts in New Hampshire presume that everything a party owns is marital property to be divided equally, regardless as to when either spouse acquired it, what the title says about ownership, or who gave it to either party. The court presumes that there will be an equal division and distribution of the property, unless the court decides that an equal division would not be equitable or appropriate after considering several factors.
Initially, all assets and debts are treated as marital property, but if either spouse has a good reason why property should be divided "unequally", he or she can make the argument for the courts to consider. If the spouses believe they may be able to do a better job dividing the property, the parties may have an opportunity to do so.Factors in Determining Distribution
As New Hampshire courts do listen to arguments that an unequal division of marital property is more equitable than an equal one, courts consider a comprehensive list of factors to shift the balance of property from one spouse to the other. According to New Hampshire statutes Chapter: 458:16, the court takes into consideration a number of factors in determining an equitable distribution of property, including the following:
- The length of the marriage;
- Both spouses' opportunities for future acquisition of assets and income;
- The age, health, social or economic status, vocational skills, and amount and sources of income of each spouse;
- The contributions by one spouse to educate or develop the career of the other; and
- A spouse's fault in causing the marriage to fail if it caused substantial physical or mental pain or resulted in considerable economic loss to the marital estate.
The New Hampshire division of assets lawyers of the Anzalone Law Firm understand the complicated matters that arise during the divorce process and the need for professional legal representation in order to protect your rights throughout the proceedings. Our family law team has the skills and legal knowledge needed to get you a successful divorce settlement to ensure you have the resources and support you need to move forward. To see how we can assist you with your divorce and the division of your marital assets and property, please call (603) 548-3797 for a complimentary case evaluation.