Exeter NH Divorce Property Division Attorney
During a divorce proceeding in NH, many people have questions as to how marital property will be divided. Traditionally, NH has been an equitable distribution state, meaning that property would be divided in a way that is fair to both parties. “Equitable” does not imply that property will be divided through a 50-50 split. The court views all property as common property, whether bought before or during the marriage. Real estate, jewelry, art, and retirement benefits are some examples of property that will be equitably divided. Along with property, debts will also be considered.
Divorcing couples have the ability to divide their property in an agreed upon manner. If a party believes that the marital property should be divided in an unequal manner, the court will look to multiple factors to determine the allocation for the parties.
Factors the court will consider:
- The duration of the marriage. Typically Marriages under ten years results in a split of the marital portion of assets and a long term marriage results in the division of all property.
- The age, health, social or economic status, occupation, vocational skills, employability, separate property, amount and sources of income, needs and liabilities of each party.
- The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
- The ability of the custodial parent to engage in gainful employment without substantially interfering with the interests of any minor children in the custody of said party.
- The need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects.
- 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.
- 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.
- Any direct or indirect contribution made by one party to help educate or develop the career 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.
- The expectation of pension or retirement rights acquired prior to or during the marriage.
- The tax consequences for each party.
- The value of property that is allocated by a valid prenuptial contract made in good faith by the parties.
- The fault of either party if said fault caused the breakdown of the marriage.
- The value of any property acquired prior to the marriage and property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage.
- The value of any property acquired by gift or inheritance.
- Any other factor that the court deems relevant.
All cases are different depending on the circumstances of the marriage. In a case where there has been infidelity leading to large debts, this may be a circumstance where unequal division is equitable. Where a family heirloom was inherited, this may be a case where unequal division would be most equitable.
Attorney David C. Newton, Portsmouth, NH Area Divorce Attorney, is available to address all your questions in the area of family law and can help represent your interests in a property division.