new hampshire divorce handbook 2nd edition

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Author's Biography

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excerpts from the divorce handbook
Book Introduction

Book Contents

Chapter 1 of the Book

Some Helpful Resources
Some Helpful updates
divorce information for new hampshire
Ordering Information for Retail Outlets
Information for Divorce Lawyers and Attorneys
Information for Divorce Mediators
Information for Counselors
Information for Financial Professionals
New Hampshire Divorce Handbook Home Page
Copyright H.Hastings 2007-2015


Chapter 1. The Basics of Family Law

    What is in this book?
    Some basic legal terms
    No-fault or fault?
    What are the issues in a divorce?
    How do these issues get resolved?
    What about "custody?"
    How is child support determined?
    Alimony, property division, and taxes
    What should I do (and not do) when first thinking about divorce?

Chapter 2. Parenting During and After Divorce

    What shall I say to my child about the divorce?
    How can I help my child deal with the divorce?
    What steps should I take to help my child through the divorce?
    My child is upset about leaving me to be with the other parent. How can I help?
    Is it important to keep the other parent informed?
    Why should I encourage my child's contact with the other parent?
    How can I encourage my child's contact with the other parent?
    Will my dating impact my child?

Chapter 3. Money and Divorce

    Planning for your financial future
    How do I start to plan for cash flow after we separate?
    How much money will I need for day-to-day expenses?
    What are the dangers of credit cards and joint credit?
    What about our mortgage?
    What long-term cash requirements should be considered?
    Should I trade off the retirement plan for the house?
    What factors should be considered in dividing retirement plans?
    Can I get part of my spouse's Social Security?
    What about the family business?
    Does everything we own have to be valued?
    What other steps should I take to put my finances in order?
    Civil Unions and Money

Chapter 4. How to Make Divorce Decisions

    What if I am afraid of my spouse?
    What can I do to minimize the likelihood of a contested divorce?
    To file or not to file, that is the question
    What are the advantages of agreeing first, then filing?
    The two stages of decision making
    Method 1 - the informal approach
    Method 2 - mediation: making decisions with the help of a neutral professional
    Are there different types of mediators?
    What is the court's role in the use of mediation?
    How does mediation work?
    What are the advantages of mediation?
    Why double my costs by paying both a lawyer and a mediator?
    What is the difference between what mediators and lawyers do in a divorce?
    Do I need a lawyer if we use mediation?
    Fear of lawyers
    Method 3 - collaborative practice
    How does collaborative practice differ from a traditional divorce?
    How does collaborative practice result in a settlement?
    A focus on the future
    The team model of collaborative practice
    Which is best - collaborative divorce or mediation?
    Is collaborative practice faster? Cheaper?
    Method 4 - negotiation through lawyers
    Method 5 - contested cases: the court decides
    Temporary issues, final issues
    What are the disadvantages of having the court decide?
    Can I appeal, if I don't like the decision?
    What are the advantages of reaching an agreement?
    We have been fighting over parenting for years. Is there a way to stay out of court?

Chapter 5. Getting Legal Help

    What is a lawyer?
    Why do I need a lawyer?
    Can we use the same lawyer?
    How do I find a lawyer?
    What are the types of legal services available to help with my divorce?
    How can I find the right lawyer?
    What questions should I ask a lawyer I might hire?
    Are there some "legal" problems I can handle without a lawyer?
    Can I represent myself in my divorce?

Chapter 6. Working with Your Lawyer

    How can I keep my legal costs down?
    What are the first steps in working with my lawyer?
    What papers should I keep?
    How can I make the most efficient use of my lawyer?
    How can my lawyer's staff help?
    Telling the truth
    Problems in working with your lawyer
    Are you considering changing lawyers?
    A warning about counseling records!

Chapter 7. Court Papers

    What court papers are needed if we agree on the divorce issues?
    What document is used to request a New Hampshire divorce?
    When may a joint petition be used?
    Are there special rules if I want alimony?
    Are there special rules if the petition says that adultery caused the marriage to break down?
    What does the court do when the petition is filed?
    I received a petition filed by my spouse. What are my options?
    How is a temporary hearing scheduled?
    What documents are needed if you work out the temporary issues?
    If no agreement is possible, what documents are required for a contested temporary hearing?
    What are "discovery" documents?
    What are "motions" and "objections?"
    What court papers are required for a pretrial conference?
    If we have a contested final hearing, what court papers are needed?
    What happens if we agree only on some issues?
    What are the documents used after the contested hearing?

Chapter 8. Going to Court

    What is a hearing?
    Going to court usually means waiting!
    There are different kinds of court events
    What is the "first appearance?"
    Temporary hearings
    Scheduling conference
    Motion hearings
    Status and case management conferences
    Pretrial conferences
    Settlement conferences
    Trial management conferences
    Final hearings
    What if my spouse defaults?
    Contested final hearings
    Preparing to go to court
    Your day in court - what to bring
    Do I have to testify?
    What do I need to know about being a witness?
    What is cross-examination?
    An uncontested hearing
    What should I wear to court?

Chapter 9. Domestic Violence

    What is domestic violence?
    What is a restraining order?
    How can I get a restraining order?
    How does the other person find out about the restraining order?
    What happens at the final hearing?
    Where can I get more information?
    Should I consult a lawyer?
    Can I file criminal charges?
    Can I get my spouse to move out without getting a domestic violence order? What happens if domestic violence petitions are misused?
    What is stalking?
    If I'm being stalked, can I get a protective order?

Chapter 10. Parenting - The Law

    What is a parenting plan?
    How is the parenting plan decided?
    What is decision-making responsibility?
    What is a parenting schedule?
    What is primary residential responsibility?
    What is the legal test for a major change in the parenting schedule?
    Will the parenting schedule change as your child grows?
    How much may the parenting schedule be changed after the divorce?
    What happens if we don't agree on the parenting plan?
    What do New Hampshire parenting schedules look like?
    May the parents move apart after divorce?
    Can stepparents, grandparents or others have residential responsibility or visitation rights?
    What is the legal test if the court decides the parenting plan?
    Can teenagers decide where they will live?
    What is a guardian ad litem?
    How is the guardian selected and paid?
    How does the guardian function?
    Are there unhealthy reasons for fighting about parenting?

Chapter 11. Child Support

    How much will the child support be?
    What information is needed to calculate child support?
    What is monthly gross income, if I am paid weekly?
    What deductions can I take?
    Examples, based on sample families
    How is child support calculated?
    How is the "combined support" divided between the other parent and myself?
    Is there child support on bonuses and commissions?
    Are the Guidelines always used?
    What if the child lives with each parent half of the time?
    What if one child lives with mother and the other child lives with father?
    What is a uniform support order?
    What is a wage assignment?
    What if the other parent doesn't pay ordered support and misses a payment?
    Can child support be changed?

Chapter 12. Alimony

    What is alimony?
    Will I get alimony or will I have to pay it?
    Will the court award alimony in my divorce?
    How is the amount of alimony decided?
    The advantages of alimony
    Alimony and property division
    Specifics in alimony orders
    Changes in alimony after divorce
    My spouse provides my health insurance through employment. How will I have insurance after the divorce?

Chapter 13. Property Division

    How is property divided in New Hampshire?
    What factors may justify an unequal division?
    How does "fault" affect property division?
    Length of marriage
    Other common factors
    How will our marital property be divided?
    How are different types of retirement plans handled?
    How are retirement plans divided?
    What are QDROs?
    Summary of steps to divide property

Chapter 14. Taxes and Divorce

    Why should I care about taxes?
    What are the tax issues during and after a divorce?
    What filing status should I use during the divorce?
    What filing status should I use after the divorce?
    Can I file as "head of household?"
    What is the difference between deductions, exemptions, and credits?
    How do deductions work?
    How do exemptions work?
    Which parent gets the exemption for our child?
    What happens if we have two or more children, or have equal periods of residential responsibility?
    Am I eligible for a tax credit?
    What is the child tax credit?
    What are child care credits and dependent care reimbursements?
    What are "educational" tax incentives?
    What happens if I sign a joint return and my spouse has lied on it?
    How is alimony treated for tax purposes?
    Is alimony always taxable and deductible?
    Can paying mortgage or other house expenses qualify as "alimony?"
    What payments to a spouse or former spouse are not alimony?
    Can I pay more alimony instead of child support, and get a tax break?
    What if alimony is not paid or the amount changes?
    Is there tax on alimony in New Hampshire?
    Is child support taxable and deductible?
    Will property division affect my taxes?
    Can we avoid taxes and penalties when dividing the retirement benefits?
    What if part of the property division is delayed for several years after the divorce?
    Are the costs of divorce deductible?
    What other steps are necessary to put my federal income taxes in order?
    What is the impact of divorce on New Hampshire state taxes?
    Final thoughts

Chapter 15. Appeals

    What court handles appeals?
    I don't like my divorce agreement or orders. Will an appeal fix them?
    When do appeals happen?
    Important steps before an appeal
    What are the steps to appeal a divorce decision?
    What happens in an appeal?
    The Supreme Court has several methods of handling appeals
    What is a summary disposition order?
    What is a 3JX case?
    Can cases get settled after an appeal is filed?
    What is a brief?
    What is an oral argument?
    How long does it take to get the Supreme Court's decision?
    If there is an appeal, when will the divorce become final?

Chapter 16. After Divorce

    Why would anyone want to deal with the legal system or court again after getting divorced?
    What can I do during the divorce to avoid future legal problems?
    How can I avoid further legal problems with my former spouse?
    Will I have problems concerning child support?
    What if there are problems with parenting the children?
    Can my parenting plan, divorce agreement, or orders be changed?
    What do we do to change the agreements or orders?
    Can the child's "primary residence" be changed?
    What does it take to get the court to change child support?
    Can alimony be changed?
    When we were divorced, there was no alimony order. Can it be ordered now?
    How do I begin a court case after my divorce?

Appendix A - More Tax Tips

Appendix B - Standard Order of Paragraphs

    Standard Order of Paragraphs for Temporary Decree
    How to Understand the Standard Paragraphs

Appendix C - Checklists and Resources

    Things to Do After Your Divorce
    Resources for Divorce
    Books for Adults and Children


Amoskeag Press - publisher of the New Hampshire Divorce Handbook
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