It is common in a divorce case where one party with access to marital funds either spends or transfers property, thereby denying his or her spouse the benefit of the property. A recent New Hampshire Supreme Court Decision affirms that a divorce court has the authority in such instances to award the other spouse one-half of the property, even though the property has been spent or is no longer accessible to either. In such an instance, the spouse who was denied the property would be awarded a larger share of property remaining within the marital estate or the offending spouse would be required to make payments, possibly with interest, to the victim spouse to compensate him or her. This decision points out the importance of conducting a thorough pretrial discovery to make sure that one spouse does not intentionally decrease the value of the marital estate to deny the other spouse his/her fair share.
If you have any questions regarding division of property in a divorce case, please contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.