Dividing Assets in a Divorce
A couple who has filed for divorce may decide to divide their debts and assets by agreement. If they can agree on the division of property then most likely that decision will not be left in the hands of a judge. However, even if the parties want to work together the division of debts and assets can be complicated. Sometimes the parties cannot agree on such a division and the decision is made by a judge after a hearing. The judge bases that decision on the laws in New Hampshire regarding property division.
New Hampshire is essentially a “community” property state. The law provides that all property, tangible and intangible, real or personal, belonging to either or both parties, whether title to the property is held in the hands of one of or both of the parties, owned before – or acquired during the marriage, can be allocated by the court to either of the parties.
In addition, New Hampshire is an equitable distribution state. As a result, community property is divided equitably but not necessarily “equally”. The presumption is that equal division is equitable. However, judges may take into account each spouse’s ability to support themselves, the length of the marriage, sacrifices made during the marriage, the age and general health and ability of each party to earn an income, whether the property was acquired before the marriage and the respective efforts of the parties in acquiring the property.
If divorce appears imminent, contact a divorce attorney who can give you advice to help you through the process.