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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 86376
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Im filing for divorce trying to figure out the cheapest way

Customer Question

I'm filing for divorce trying to figure out the cheapest way to do this amicably but doubt that will happen. I payed a car off my husband does not have a license cant drive due to eye disease vision loss. He says that if it was payed off by our joint account that its half his it was payed off last year. Its in my name only. I may have payed it off from my personal checking account. How does this work? I'm also wondering how to separate our bills, we have many credit cards some joint some not. How do we go about doing that? Looking forward to your reply.
Margaret
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. Note: there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me what county and state you are in?

Note that we will have to tackle issues of how to file, how asset division works, and what happens if the parties do not agree, so my reply to your reply may take a few minutes - 5 or more; just FYI.

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We are located in Merrimack county, Andover, NH

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Any children?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

no we have a house but its in his name and I have no interest in it


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thank you. I am going to type this out and as explained, it may take a bit because I have to touch base on a bunch of items to make sure that I give you a thorough overview. Ergo, again, please accept my apologies for the wait as I do so...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i will wait thank you


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
How To File
The divorce is filed with the SUPERIOR COURT in your county - see here.

In your county, this is:

Merrimack Superior Court
163 North Main Street
P.O. Box 2880
Concord, NH XXXXX-XXXX
Clerk : William McGraw
Phone : (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Hours : Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm

You may contact them for more information on how to file. You may also see the link above for petitions, or, find petitions on sites like uslegalforms.com or usalegalresource.com.

If filing by hand, bring three copies to the clerk's filing window. Again, check with the clerk's office to find out where the filing window is located. A clerk will take your copies, typically one or two of them, and stamp the third and give it back to you as proof of filing. Fee is $205 for a divorce. If you are sending it by postal mail, send three identical copies of the petition, a filing fee (call ahead to find out what it is), and a self-addressed and pre-stamped envelope with your address so the district clerk can send you a stamped copy back. Include a one sheet cover letter on top of the petition copies to explain that you are filing.

The petition begins the divorce. Once you and your husband agree to the division (and if), you can contact the court and find out when the uncontested docket dates are - normally a few times a week. Then, one or both of you shows up on said time to get the divorce finalized.

Cost
As stated, the cost is $205. It really does not cost more unless attorneys are involved.

Division of Assets
Separate property is anything that was brought into the marriage, inherited, gifted, won in an award/settlement, or declared as such by a written agreement. This property is NOT party of the martial estate, and is divided and given to the party that had it.

The rest is the martial estate, or commonly known as community property. New Hampshire is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. This means the community property would be divided fairly, but not necessarily 50/50, based on these factors: (1) The duration of the marriage. (2) The age, health, social or economic status, occupation, vocational skills, employability, separate property, amount and sources of income, needs and liabilities of each party. (3) The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income. (4) The ability of the custodial parent, if any, to engage in gainful employment without substantially interfering with the interests of any minor children in the custody of said party. (5) The need of the custodial parent, if any, to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects. (6) The actions of either party during the marriage which contributed to the growth or diminution in value of property owned by either or both of the parties. (7) Significant disparity between the parties in relation to contributions to the marriage, including contributions to the care and education of the children and the care and management of the home. (8) Any direct or indirect contribution made by one party to help educate or develop the career or employability of the other party (9) The expectation of pension or retirement rights acquired prior to or during the marriage. (10) The tax consequences for each party. (k) The value of property that is allocated by a valid prenuptial contract made in good faith by the parties. (11) The fault of either party a if said fault caused the breakdown of the marriage and: (12) The value of any property acquired prior to the marriage and property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage. (13) The value of any property acquired by gift, devise, or descent. (14) Any other factor that the court deems relevant. (New Hampshire Statutes - Chapters: 458:16)

Accrued or vested retirement benefits are community property. This means they need to be divided in a divorce. Retirement benefits that fall under community property include military pensions, veteran's educational benefits, ERISA funds, IRAs, Keoghs, Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPS), 401K and 403K plans, etc. Certain retirement benefits are not classified as community property. They include: Social Security payments, Compensation for military injuries, and Worker's compensation disability awards.

There are two options for dividing retirement benefits: (1) the present-day valuation buy-out, and (2) division into two accounts. In the former, the spouse without the retirement benefits takes the present-day value of his or her interest in the retirement benefit and trades it for something else of equal value, such as cash or other assets. Note - stock options and pension plans where a person must work for a certain number of years may be worth more than you think. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) will be required to transfer a share of retirement funds from the spouse participating in the retirement plan to the other spouse, and is usually included in the final divorce papers.

Of course, if both parties come to an agreement about marriage property regardless of the rules above, the Court will most likely endorse said agreement in interest of post-divorce harmony. The above rules only come into play if the parties cannot agree on splitting of assets.

It is also common for parties to agree to 95% of the split, but then ask the Court to make a decision in regards XX XXX 5% that cannot be agreed upon.


Pro Boo Leads
In case you need an attorney but cannot afford one, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...

http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory/newhampshire.html

…and another list:

http://www.lawhelp.org

Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:

http://www.hg.org/law-schools-new-hampshire.asp

Good luck.

IMPORTANT: Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces before submitting the rating, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating. My ultimate goal is your complete satisfaction.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He received a house and we payed on it for 3 years before his dad passed, last year he sold it and we payed off bills, credit cards, etc. with it do I need to reimburse him for any of my bills or 1/2 of any household bills that may have been payed off with it? And If the car is in my name and payed off its still joint property and it should be sold and divided am I correct in this assumption?


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

do I need to reimburse him for any of my bills or 1/2 of any household bills that may have been payed off with it?

NO. This was paid by him for the benefit of the marital estate. The Court should not order you to do this.

And If the car is in my name and payed off its still joint property and it should be sold and divided am I correct in this assumption?

Titles do not control the decision into which category the property falls often. If the vehicle was purchased DURING the marriage with money from the both of you, it is community property.

IMPORTANT: Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces before submitting the rating, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating. My ultimate goal is your complete satisfaction.

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