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new hampshire divorce attorneys

New Hampshire Divorce Attorneys: Inherited Marital Property

Is my inheritance considered marital property?

new hampshire divorce attorneysAccording to the New Hampshire divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, marital property includes anything and everything owned by either of the parties. This includes homes titled in only one party’s name, retirement funds, and yes, even inherited funds or property. It does not matter when (even if the property was purchased or received prior to the marriage) or how the property was purchased. Everything goes into the pot to be divided.

New Hampshire Divorce Law

The definition of marital property is found in New Hampshire law at RSA 458:16-a, which states:

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.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Decision

More particularly, the New Hampshire Supreme Court specifically addressed inheritances  in its decision In the Matter of Henry and Henry, writing:

To the extent that the respondent asserts that the trial court erred as a matter of law by dividing assets that the respondent inherited from his parents during the marriage, we disagree. By statute, marital property subject to equitable distribution “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.” [citation omitted]. This statutory definition of marital property subject to equitable distribution does not exclude inherited property “belonging to either or both parties.” [citation omitted]

Dividing marital property “equitably” vs. “equally”

However, just because all funds, interests, and property belonging to either party can be divided by the court, it doesn’t mean the court will do so.  The New Hampshire divorce attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that state law allows the court to divide marital property “equitably” and equitably does not always mean “equally.” The courts have wide discretion to deviate from an equal distribution based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the age of the parties, the length of the marriage, and the earning capacity of the parties. Every division is based on the particular facts and circumstances of the marriage being dissolved.

For questions about divorce, contact the New Hampshire divorce attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman today

The New Hampshire divorce attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law would be pleased to discuss your matter with you and be your partner throughout the process. Our firm is experienced and prepared to deal with any situation that may arise. For a free consultation, please feel free to call us at (603) 210-4464, send us an email to info@MZLawNH.com, or reach out to us using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

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Experienced • Knowledgeable • Committed to Justice

Kevin, a New Hampshire divorce client

New Hampshire Divorce Client Review

“Got my case got done quickly and on budget even when some unforeseen challenges arose. Thanks :)”

New Hampshire divorce attorney
New Hampshire attorney Anna Goulet Zimmerman

Contact a New Hampshire Divorce Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you are in need of the services of an experienced New Hampshire divorce attorney, contact Anna Goulet Zimmerman. Anna has more than 20 years experience representing divorce and family law clients and would be glad to speak with you about your case.

For a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman at (603) 239-2489, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced  *  Knowledgeable  *  Personally Committed to Justice

Normand, a New Hampshire Divorce Client

Normand, a New Hampshire Divorce Client

“Before I hired a New Hampshire divorce attorney to represent me in what I knew would be a very contentious divorce, I interviewed 4 other law firms. After a personal meeting with Anna, I knew I had the right lawyer. Anna listened and understood my situation. She explained in very explicit language what I could expect and the time and expense it would take to win my case. She fulfilled her duties while winning my case. I was very happy with her professionalism and hired her a second time just recently to represent me on another matter. It was similarly successful and I would not hesitate to use Anna’s services again. I highly recommend her. “

New Hampshire divorce attorney
New Hampshire attorney Anna Goulet Zimmerman

Contact a New Hampshire Divorce Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you are in need of the services of an experienced New Hampshire divorce attorney, contact Anna Goulet Zimmerman. Anna has more than 20 years experience representing divorce and family law clients. She would be glad to speak with you about your case.

For a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman at (603) 239-2489, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced  *  Knowledgeable  *  Personally Committed to Justice

Attorney Michaila Oliveira Joins Manning & Zimmerman

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Attorney Michaila Oliveira

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Jan. 9, 2017 – – The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC is pleased to announce that Michaila Oliveira has joined the firm as an associate attorney. A graduate of the prestigious Daniel Webster Scholar program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Attorney Oliveira served as a judicial intern with the New Hampshire Family Division. Attorney Oliveira focuses her practice on all areas of family law, including divorce, parenting rights, post-divorce modification and enforcement, guardianships, restraining orders, and child support matters. She is admitted to practice in New Hampshire federal and state courts and is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, the Merrimack County Bar Association, the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, and the New Hampshire Association for Justice.

The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC is a personal injury and family law firm located in the historic district of Manchester, New Hampshire. The firm is committed to representing those who have been injured through no fault of their own, as well as those needing representation in divorce and family law matters.

Founding partners Maureen Raiche Manning and Anna Goulet Zimmerman have a combined 50 years of practice in the law and each has served a term as president of the New Hampshire Association for Justice. Attorney Manning, who was the inaugural president of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, is a faculty member at the Keenan Ball Trial College where she instructs other attorneys in trial, advocacy, and settlement skills. Attorney Zimmerman is the author of Divorce in the Trenches,  a guide to military divorces, published in the Bar Journal of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Contact New Hampshire Family Law Attorney Michaila Oliveira

Attorney Oliveira may be reached at (603) 624-7200, by email at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or by selecting the “contact us” feature on the firm’s website.

 

Manchester divorce lawyer

Manchester divorce lawyer discusses child support enforcement

Many people come to the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC in order to get help from a Manchester divorce lawyer with child support enforcement. When a child support order has been issued and the parent who is supposed to pay does not, there are several different things that you can do. In order to provide better help to people who are dealing with child support issues, we have addressed below some of the child support enforcement questions a Manchester divorce lawyer is most frequently asked.

What Do You Do When the Other Parent Refuses to Pay Their Court-Ordered Child Support?

Sometimes this can be avoided altogether by getting a wage assignment. However, if there is no wage assignment, or the individual is self-employed, the first step would typically be to file a Motion for Contempt. The court can issue various sanctions, including ordering jail time, to enforce the child support orders.

If Your Ex Moves to Another State, Will They Still Have to Pay Their Ordered Child Support?

To address the problem of parents moving out of state and then refusing to pay their court-ordered child support, Congress passed the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This law outlines what you can do to collect your child support from your ex in their new state. If New Hampshire has jurisdiction over your ex, you can seek to enforce your child support order through the courts here with the help of a Manchester divorce lawyer. If New Hampshire lacks jurisdiction over your ex, you can request that the court send copies of your child support order to the court in the jurisdiction in which your ex lives. You would then request that that court enforce the child support order. You can also travel to the state and personally file an enforcement action with the court or send a copy of your child support order to your ex’s employer to request a wage garnishment. Failing to pay child support to a parent in another state is treated seriously, and in 1998, Congress passed the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, which makes it a felony for a parent to do so.

What if Your Ex Has Simply Fallen Behind in Payments?

If your ex has fallen behind in their child support payments to you, courts treat it seriously. The court will still enforce your child support order and seek the arrearage amount owed to you. Even if your ex has sought and received a reduction in their child support payments, the reduction is not applied retroactively, and they will generally be ordered to pay you the back child support owed in full.

What Happens If You Are Paying Child Support and You Lose Your Job?

If you lose your job and are paying child support, it is important that you seek legal help quickly. The child support order will still be in effect and the payment amounts will continue to accumulate. The child support will not simply disappear when your job ends. You can file a motion to modify your child support amount with the court. Such an order would modify payments going forward (most typically from the date your ex is served with notice of the request for modification), not any arrearages. Accordingly, you should not delay in filing the request for modification and Manchester divorce lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman Law can help you with that process.

Can You Discharge Child Support Arrearage Amounts through Bankruptcy?

While many different types of unsecured debts can be discharged in bankruptcy, federal bankruptcy law specifically forbids discharging back-owed child support through such a bankruptcy petition. Since child support is meant to provide for the support of children, discharging it in bankruptcy would be contrary to public policy and is simply not allowed. Again, if you’ve had a substantial change in your financial circumstances, you can petition the court for a reduction of your payment amount, but your child support will not just simply go away or be discharged in any bankruptcy petition.

If You Got Divorced or Separated from Your Ex Some Time Ago, Will You Be Able to Get a Child Support Order that Will Apply Retroactively?

Child support orders generally are not retroactive before the filing date (there are some exceptions for infants). In the process of a divorce, the court will order child support and will have discretion in determining when the support is ordered to start.

What Happens If You Are Still Married and Your Spouse Won’t Give You Enough to Provide for Your Children?

If you are still married and living with your spouse, it is unlikely that a court will order your spouse to pay you child support. If you are married but living separately and are not receiving child support, you can file a motion for child support from your spouse. There have been a few rare cases across the country in which courts have ordered a spouse to provide financial support for their children when they are still married and living with their spouse, but such cases have had exceptional circumstances.

What If Your Ex Claims You Are in Arrears, But You Have Always Paid Them in Full and On Time?

If your ex has claimed that you are in arrears in paying your child support, it will be your burden to prove that you have made the payments, and if you are unable to prove it, you will be ordered to pay the arrearage amount claimed. This is why it is extremely important that you pay in the manner outlined in your child support order. If you are told to make your payment to the court, do so and do not make your payment directly to your ex. If you are ordered to make payments directly to your ex, never do so in cash and instead use a check or money order. Always require a receipt for your payment and save it. If your ex does claim an arrearage, you will still have to present evidence of your payments to the court, including bank records, receipts, check copies, and witnesses if needed.

Does Shared Parenting Time Mean No Child Support?

Shared parenting time is not in and of itself a reason for a reduction in child support. The court can still order the higher-earning parent to make child support payments to the lower-earning one. If you have your child half of the time and you didn’t before, your amount might be reduced depending on the circumstances of your case.

Do You Have to Pay Child Support If Your Ex Won’t Let You See Your Child?

Child support and parenting time are considered to be separate issues. Even if your ex is refusing to let you see your child, you are still legally responsible for making your child support payments as ordered. If your child’s other parent is actively preventing you from seeing your child, you can file a motion with the court to modify the orders or to hold the other parent in contempt if they fail to comply. Courts generally believe that it is in a child’s best interests to have liberal contact with both parents, and as such, judges do not like it when one parent actively prevents a child from having a relationship with the other parent. However, even if that is occurring, you must still continue paying your child support as ordered and seek relief for visitation and custody of your child through the court. Never withhold child support just because your ex is keeping your child away from you.

It can be very frustrating to have to go through issues with your child support, and you may need to seek legal help from a Manchester divorce lawyer to solve the problems you are having with child support enforcement. Parents who are owed child support and their ex has either fallen behind or is refusing to pay can get help to enforce an order and collect both future child support payments on an ongoing basis as well as any amount owed in arrearage.

What Are Support Modifications and Contempt Motions?

If you are a parent who is ordered to pay child support and you have suffered a significant change in your financial circumstances, you may need help to file a motion to modify your ordered amount with the court. If you have made all of your payments and your ex has filed a frivolous claim with the court claiming that you have not, a Manchester divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can help you gather the evidence of your payments and present them to the court. Finally, if your ex is wrongfully withholding your child from you, an attorney can file a motion to hold the parent in contempt, or if you do not have a current custody and visitation order, a petition for custody or visitation on your behalf. It is important for you to continue making your child support payments as ordered even while any legal action is pending.

Contact an Experienced Manchester Divorce Lawyer

To schedule an appointment with a Manchester divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, call (603) 624-7200, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.  Also, please sign up for our monthly newsletter, Let America Know, that will help to keep you on top of issues that could affect your health, safety, and legal rights. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

 

NH Divorce Lawyers Explain Collaborative Law

NH divorce lawyers

Collaborative law is a process in which the parties in a divorce (or other family law matters) agree to work through the issues in dispute together, instead of looking to the courts for resolution through traditional litigation. After agreeing to proceed with the collaborative process, both parties will need NH divorce lawyers. The lawyers should be trained in collaborative law and will sign a participation agreement. As a part of the participation agreement, the parties agree that if they are unable to resolve their disagreements and resort to litigation, both parties will be required to obtain other NH divorce lawyers. This process ensures that everyone is working together collaboratively, without the threat of litigation.

In addition to attorneys, other professionals are often used in the collaborative process. A financial advisor might be retained to help sort through the finances to understand the consequences of certain financial decisions. A mental health professional might be involved as a coach to help with communication, conflict resolution or other issues. A parenting coordinator or children’s advocate may also be utilized. The attorneys and parties will work together to determine what professionals are needed and at what step in the process, in light of the specific requirements of a given case.

A primary benefit of collaborative law is allowing the parties to control what is going to happen in their case. Especially regarding children, no judge can know better than the parents what is going to work best for their children. Courts will issue orders believed to be in the child’s best interest. The end result, however, is often an order which neither parent believes is best for their family.

The collaborative process is intended to be cooperative instead of adversarial. As a result, the parties are often left with a much better working relationship. This creates the ability to more effectively co-parent their children. The children also benefit if their parents are able to work together without subjecting the family to stressful legal proceedings.

For more information, visit the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire or the International Association of Collaborative Law Professionals.

Contact Experienced NH Divorce Lawyers

If you are wondering whether collaborative law might be right for your case, call the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 624-7200 for a free consultation. We may also be reached by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.


Anna Goulet Zimmerman is certified as a collaborative law attorney and is a member of both the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire and the International Association of Collaborative Law Professionals. This allows Anna to handle collaborative law cases in addition to traditional litigation.