How Should I Prepare For A Divorce In New Hampshire?

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Laurie A. Lacoste - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Laurie A. Lacoste

Located in Portsmouth, NHLacoste Law

Phone: 603-766-4924
Fax: 603-766-1901

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When it comes to divorce, it’s what you don’t know that can jeopardize your chances for a favorable outcome, as a lack of preparation can have long-lasting and sometimes devastating effects on your future. Doing a little bit of advanced planning will make the process smoother.

Understandably, most people are emotional when filing for divorce, but announcing it to the world or their spouse before they’ve done any research or before understanding their financial situation can be a costly mistake. That’s why it’s vital for their future to do their homework and talk to an experienced family law attorney.

Thoroughly Examine Your Finances Before Taking Action

Before you even discuss the topic of divorce with a spouse, get educated about your financial situation. First, make a checklist of accounts and assets and have the documentation to back it up. Examples of information you’ll need include, but are not limited to:

  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Personal financial statements and balance sheets
  • Comprehensive lists of marital and non-marital assets
  • Real estate deeds and mortgage documents
  • Wills and trusts
  • Life insurance policies
  • Credit card statements

You may be wise to gather these documents now to protect your interests and make sure you have the information readily at hand to review with your attorney. But you must also provide these documents to the other party as required by New Hampshire Rule 1.25-A.

How Can A Lack Of Trust Impact A Divorce?

Divorce often results when communication breaks down, when couples lose their affection for and physical attraction to each other, or because of disputes over money. A common factor in these instances is a loss of trust, and it stands to reason, when trust is gone, that your spouse could attempt to hide marital assets from you. People hide assets typically in four ways:

  • Denying it exists
  • Claiming it was lost
  • Transferring the asset to a third party
  • Creating false debt

If you suspect your spouse of cheating on you, copy all the financial information you can find. Often, people will discover an account they didn’t know existed. You can also order a credit report on you and your spouse, which can detect accounts of which you were unaware, such as a spouse opening a credit card account in your name.

Another way to spot hidden assets is to look through and copy past tax returns – which can raise red flags when discrepancies are detected from year to year. Having this proof is crucial if a spouse fails to disclose it during the divorce process. Plus, it deals a damaging blow to their credibility with the court by proving they have lied about marital assets.

Don’t Let Emotions Affect Your Financial Well-Being

Divorce is a stressful process, and many people can’t wait to get out of an unhappy marriage. Others see it as a way to get revenge on an unfaithful spouse by taking them to court. However, if you aren’t prepared and don’t understand your rights, taking action too early can come back to bite you.

An experienced family law attorney can help you nail down vital financial information and gather key evidence before filing. Your lawyer will help you determine the value of marital assets so you have the best chance of getting your fair share. You can schedule a free consultation to learn more about educating yourself on the process before notifying your spouse.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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