Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law
Learn About Divorce from Our Manchester Family Lawyers
At Sekella Law, PLLC, we believe that our clients deserve the utmost in service and support. Part of building a successful case involves client education, and that is why we have included answers to some frequently asked questions on our website. View the information below, or feel free to ask our team of Manchester family law attorneys any additional questions by contacting us at any time.
If I Leave the House Can My Spouse Claim Abandonment?
If you have decided to leave the home because of volatility or tension, or some other reason that negatively affects how you and your spouse co-parent, co-exist and/or communicate, abandonment is an unlikely finding under RSA 458:7. To prove any fault ground, one must prove that the fault ground occurred during marriage and it caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Under RSA 458:7 VI, when either party has been absent 2 years together, and has not been heard of, or when either party, without sufficient cause, and without the consent of the other, has abandoned and refused, for 2 years, to cohabit together with the other (RSA:7 IX), there are fault grounds associated with abandonment in a divorce process.
Who Pays Child Support if I Share Custody of My Children?
To be clear, an equal or approximately-equal parenting schedule does not necessarily eliminate an award of child support, per RSA 458-C:5(h)(1). In a shared parenting schedule, the courts analyze various factors in considering a request for an adjustment to the application of guideline child support.
Factors that they may take into account when calculating child support include:
- How many expenses you have agreed to share in regards to the child’s life, including costs related to education, health care, clothing, day care, and more.
- If the child’s living situation will significantly reduce costs for the obligor parent.
- The income levels of both parents and how they compare to the costs of raising the child.
Who Gets to Stay in the House & Who Has to Pay for It?
Customarily, if one parent has already vacated the marital home, the party remaining, especially if there are children in the home, most likely would be awarded temporary exclusive use and possession of the home, absent a unique set of circumstances. The courts do not like to make such decisions any more than separating parties do.
So in the event the parties have already begun to take steps to separate, such decisions may be officially implemented by the court on a temporary basis. Paying for the mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs on the home will be assessed by the court on a case-by-case basis in light of any child support and/or alimony awards and which party has the benefit of staying in the home.
Will I Be Held Responsible for My Spouse’s Debts?
Since it is difficult for the court to determine on a temporary basis, which party shall be responsible for which credit cards, loans, lines of credit etc., the court may establish a Temporary Order requiring both parties to contribute to the “household” debts absent clear evidence that such an Order is unreasonable or unjust. Each party’s respective income and expenses also play a part in how the court will assess a fair allocation of payment of debts/expenses while the case is pending. As always you can discuss the matter further with our Manchester divorce lawyers about how your spouse's assets may be divided.
Does NH Have Alimony & How Does it Work?
Alimony, or spousal support, is available in New Hampshire under RSA 458:19. Unlike child support, where there is a formula by which the obligation is determined, alimony is determined based upon a legal argument, that is to say, one party has a need and the other party has the ability to pay. More specifically, the party in need has to show that he/she lacks sufficient income, property, or both to provide for his/her reasonable needs.
This must take into consideration the standard of living during the marriage. The party seeking alimony also has to show that the party that has the ability to pay and would be able to meet his/her own reasonable needs, i.e. living expenses, and provide for his/her spouse’s reasonable needs as well taking into consideration the standard of living during the marriage.
Do You Offer preliminary Case Reviews?
Yes! If you would like to request a case review, please reach out to Sekella Law and share the details of what you are going through with our Manchester family law attorneys. We can offer you our informed advice on how to proceed in a way that sets you up for success.
Call (603) 686-7229 now to speak to a member of our firm.