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Manchester Family Law Blog

The limitations of prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements have been around for decades. However, they have seen a surge in popularity in recent years due to more millennials marrying. There has long been a stigma attached to prenups because it involves people considering the possibility they may divorce, but millennials appear to pursue them with greater objectivity

Prenups help immensely if a married couple ever decides to divorce. The couple will already know how to divide certain assets, making the divorce process much simpler. It is vital to remember these documents cannot cover everything. If you plan on making one soon, you should know what you cannot include in the document. 

Mistakes made when addressing property division can be costly

During the divorce process in New Hampshire, oversharing on social media remains a common mistake that can affect a person financially. However, several other mistakes can also have significant financial consequences for those going through divorce and dealing with issues such as property division. Here are a couple of them.

The first mistake involves not collecting all applicable financial documents as soon as possible upon deciding to get a divorce. These documents range from statements with bank balances to receipts that document home improvements. Other important documents to collect include paperwork showing what was paid for key assets -- for example, cars and homes. The more information that a person has at the outset, the more capable he or she is of making informed decisions related to property division.

Divorce, property division fight may stem from relationship rules

A variety of unwritten relationship rules that have been honored for years are frequently still upheld today. The reality, though, is that many of these rules may not work in all situations. In fact, they can easily result in divorce and the conflict that often comes with dealing with divorce matters in New Hampshire like alimony and property division.

One of these potentially destructive relationship rules is to let sleeping dogs lie -- in other words, do not bring up issues in a relationship. Some married couples believe that talking about their problems will only lead to more issues and conflict. However, in reality, having an argument can actually be beneficial as long as the two spouses are not being critical of one another or becoming defensive. That is because having a disagreement may help with fine-tuning the marital relationship.

Property division, child custody can be challenging to navigate

Those confronting divorce proceedings may feel overwhelmed by the process. They will have to negotiate property division issues, including outstanding debts, and if they have minor children, they must also address child custody. Here are some tips for navigating these aspects of a divorce proceeding in New Hampshire.

First, when it comes to child custody in particular, parents would be wise to recognize that the divorce is a big change in their child's world. Children usually pick up more than their parents might expect. This is why it is critical for two divorcing parents to avoid speaking negatively about the other parent when the child is within earshot. It may be helpful to recognize that the child's relationship with the other parent is different from the parents' relationship with each other.

Divorce, property division does not have to be overly difficult

People in New Hampshire generally do not expect to divorce years or even decades after getting married. However, researchers say that nearly half of married couples end up parting ways in the United States. Although the divorce process can no doubt be difficult to navigate -- especially when matters such as child custody and property division are concerned -- a couple of tips may help those going through it to do so as peacefully as possible.

First, receiving emotional support from friends, family members or even therapists may prove helpful for dealing with a future ex-spouse's behaviors. This is especially true if the other party becomes much more antagonistic than normal. This can easily happen if an ex-spouse starts seeing the marital breakup as a ruthless competition to win.

When to choose legal separation over divorce

At the beginning of your marriage, you probably thought you would stay with your spouse forever. Nonetheless, a significant number of New Hampshirites divorce every year. If you are not ready to file for divorce, you may benefit from a legal separation. 

Both legal separation and divorce afford you certain rights and protections. Pursuing a legal separation, however, may help you decide whether divorce is right for you. Here are four advantages of obtaining a legal separation instead of a divorce. 

Reminder: Tax laws are changing for divorcing couples in 2019

Divorces can be extremely complex. Taxes on spousal support can make matters more complicated, especially with the changes that are set to take effect on January 1, 2019.

In the past, spousal support has been tax deductible by the spouse making payments and taxable to the spouse receiving support. The new laws are going to change for people getting divorced next year, and the changes are likely going to affect high-asset divorces the most.

Pet prenuptial agreements growing in popularity

Many dog owners in New Hampshire consider their furry friends to be integral parts of their families. For this reason, it may not come as a surprise that these animals become areas of contention if their owners decide to get divorced. This is why many dog lovers today are choosing to draft pet prenuptial agreements before they get married.

In a pet prenuptial agreement, two individuals who are about to get married can provide instructions on custody and care. They can also even designate a veterinarian to determine what kind of care their dog should receive if they cannot reach an agreement in this area themselves. Including these provisions in a pet prenuptial agreement can give both parties a peace of mind by eliminating issues to battle over later.

Keeping artwork in a high-asset divorce

For many divorcées, retaining your home décor may be one of the last things on your mind as you battle your way through a divorce settlement. In high-asset situations, however, a divorce agreement may include valuable décor such as works of art.

If you are getting a divorce, agreeing to a child custody arrangement, establishing alimony and dividing your investment accounts may just be the tip of the iceberg. A thorough examination of your marital assets, including your home(s), retirement accounts, personal property (such as artwork and jewelry), investments and business valuations can be draining, though necessary. 

Should you add a forensic accountant to your legal team?

As half of a high net worth New Hampshire couple, you may suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets from you so as to put himself or herself at an advantage when it comes time to craft the property settlement agreement during your upcoming divorce. Obviously whatever marital assets (s)he successfully hides cannot become part of the fair and equitable division of property required by New Hampshire law.

Given the extraordinary number of ways in which asset-hiding spouses can use today's advanced technologies to secrete portions of the marital property to which their spouses also have rights, finding and tracing these assets can become a highly complex task and one for which few people have the requisite skills. Your best strategy therefore may be to consider adding a forensic accountant to your legal team.

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