In order to get an annullment in NH (and any state) you would have to claim that the marriage was completely unconsummated (that you never had sex together) and you cannot show that if you had relations on your honeymoon. Other grounds for annulment are very narrow (such as mental illness of one party) but as far as property division goes when an annullment is granted the courts will generally use the divorce guidelines for property division anyway, so it does not make much of a difference.
In a divorce situation, NH is an "equitable distribution" state meaning that the court will divide the marital property according to what is fair and equitable which almost always makes everything a 50/50 split between the spouses unless one spouse can show some extenuating circumstances as to why they deserve to have more than 50% of the marital estate awarded to them (this usually occurs in cases of extreme emotional and/or physical abuse that can be proven in court and even under these circumstances the victimized spouse will end up with maybe an additional 10% of the marital property -- a 60/40 split instead of a 50/50 split). So, given what you have told me, it appears that the court will make you split all property accumulated since the marriage on a 50/50 basis (so for the real estate you will end up with 50% each of any equity in the property). The 50/50 split applies to all other assets, bank accounts. and debts of the marital couple accumulated during the marriage (anything you owned before the marriage is not included and anything that you can show you purchased in your own name with money from before the marriage can be retained 100% by you also). As far as alimony goes, courts are generally against providing alimony in situations where both spouses are able to support themselves unless there is a HUGE difference in income -- and your case does not fall into the category of being a huge difference in income case. Sometimes the court might award alimony to one party for a few years and not permanently as a means to help the lower earning spouse get back on their feet and to get accustomed to living with less money than they are used to (it is a 2-5 year period depending upon what is negotiated between the parties and what the court might approve) and so I suggest that if alimony is brought up and it seems that the judge might want to go for granting alimony to him then you and/or your attorney should argue that any alimony should be for a short time period only to help him transition into living on his own and paying his own way on what he earns for a living. While I believe that the odds of alimony being awarded at all in this case are very small (because you have no children and your marriage is considered a short term marriage because it lasted less than 10 years and his income is sufficient to support himself adequately), I cannot predict with 100% certainty what a court would do in any case.
Overall, you are probably better off to get a divorce filed sooner rather than later. Because once the marriage reaches 10 years, it is considered a "long term" marriage (and he becomes entitled to apply for social security benefits based upon your income if he is married to you for more than 10 years). Also, if you continue to stay married then more property and assets will accumulate of the marriage and it just gets more and more complicated to untangle it all when the marriage lasts a long time. The quicker that you file for divorce and end it then the better off you will be.
I do suggest that you hire an attorney to prepare and file the paperwork (you can file a one party divorce action -- you do not need your spouse to consent to the divorce) -- and you can find a local divorce attorney by contacting your local county bar association and asking them for a referral to a divorce specialist. The bar will give you several names and you can speak with a few attorneys to determine who you are most comfortable with and then you can go from there.
Please let me know if you have further follow up questions.
Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be given credit for my time. I will not receive any credit for assisting you today unless you press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!
Hello Helen -
An attorney will generally cost you about 5K from start to finish. I also know of people who have hired mediators to assist in the divorce agreements and court paperwork and then they present a joint divorce to the court but that usually only works in cases where both parties agree to get the divorce in the first place (if you know he does not want a divorce then you should skip the pre court mediation and go right to filing a court action for divorce). Pre-court mediators can cost up to $400 per hour (and many do not have law degrees) and I know many people who have used them who have paid more to the mediator than they would have paid to an attorney in the long run -- so whether or not to go that route if your spouse agrees will be up to you after speaking with mediators (you can get referrals through the court clerk;s office or by searching online in your county). If you do not use a pre court mediatior then the court will most likely order that you go to mediation if you are in disagreement regarding the marital split of property and then you will have to pay for the mediator through the court (half of it anyway -- he will have to pay the other half) in addition to your attorney. You can file the divorce yourself by obtaining the paperwork at the clerk's office -- but again, that rarely works out well unless both parties are agreeing to a joint consensual divorce and you can complete the paperwork together and file it together. If he does not want the divorce initially then it is a different set of paperwork. (Even if he does not want the divorce, the court will still grant the divorce because the court will not force one party to stay in a marriage that she does not want to be in any longer -- it is just that when there is initial and ongoing disagreement the paperwork tends to be more complicated). I wish I could tell you exactly what you will end up spending to end the marriage but I can only deal in estimates. Your best bet is to speak with both an attorney and a pre court mediator to get some indication of costs and then make your decisions based upon their estimates of your individual situation.
Please let me know if you have follow up questions. If not, can you please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).