Family Law

Winer and Bennett, LLP family law blog.

Mediation in Divorce Cases

I have to admit that I’m getting sold on mediation for divorce cases. That’s a good thing because it is increasingly a part of the divorce process in New Hampshire. Early on I figured that the same broken dynamics which governed the spouses’ failed relationship would play itself out in mediation. It was always an opportunity for a quicker outcome …

Alimony in New Hampshire

Yes, we have alimony in New Hampshire. The law is RSA 458:19 (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/458/458-19.htm). The Legislature has tinkered with the law over time, but for more than 20 years, the concept has been pretty consistent. If one spouse has the ability to earn enough income to meet his or her reasonable needs, and the other does not have that ability, taking …

Mandatory Initial Self Disclosure in Divorce Cases

There is a new step early on in the New Hampshire divorce process.  Family Division Rule 1.25-A now requires that each party disclose a wide variety of financial documentation within 45 days after the papers are served or 10 days before a small temporary hearing. See link at www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/family/fam-1.htm#1.25-A.  This disclosure is a lot of tedious work, but I have …

Postnuptial Agreements

As of an August 21, 2013 decision, a postnuptial agreement between spouses on the disposition of their property in the event of divorce or death may be enforceable.  The N.H. Supreme Court reasoned that, while our divorce statutes are designed to ensure a fair outcome regarding property distribution, there is no reason why those statutes “should, in every case, override …

College Expenses in a Divorce

Long ago our divorce courts had the power to make orders and approve agreements regarding the children’s college expenses. Frankly, that never seemed quite right to me. In an intact family there isn’t a legal obligation to pay for college. Although usually there is no more worthy nor profitable investment than in a child’s future, there are circumstances when a …

Marital Process in New Hampshire circa. 2013

There is a recent phenomenon in the Family Law Courts in New Hampshire that can be described politely as gridlock.  There is no secret that the state’s resources for keeping the courts operating have been dwindling with the poor performance of the economy and accompanying decrease in state revenue.  People are not getting access to the court to move their …

Primary Election

What has the Primary Election got to do with the practice of Personal Injury, Criminal or Family law?  Answer: everything.  We in New Hampshire are privileged to experience, once every four years, the hand to hand campaigning that candidates must do to prove themselves as national leaders.  The candidates are evaluated up close in open settings with real people asking questions …

Divorce

WHAT IS A DIVORCE? Our laws give our courts the power to terminate a marriage on “fault” or “no-fault” grounds.  A fault divorce is based on proof that the marriage was caused to break down because of certain forms of misconduct, including: extreme cruelty, adultery, conduct endangering reason.  In a no-fault divorce, the divorce is granted on unspecified “irreconcilable differences” …

Use of Information

One of my favorite quotes of the past ten years is by the author Philip Caputo who wrote “we drink greedily from the salt water of information while our throats are parched for droplets of wisdom.”  So it seems that our world edges ever closer to the inevitable conclusion that all of the information we have is useless because we …

Family Law – Know What to Expect

The new year begins with a commentary on family law.  Specifically, on parental rights and responsibilities.  Too often, parties look at children, or time with their children as a commodity to be bargained for.  In October, 2005, the Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act, RSA 461-A, was enacted into law.  This act drastically changed the way that courts view parenting responsibility.  …