Family Law


Divorce/Separation

The attorneys practice in all of the Family Divisions in the State of New Hampshire and Attorney Klug practices in many of the Probate and Family Courts in North Eastern and South Eastern Massachusetts.

Navigating through a divorce or legal separation is emotional and frustrating. Many of the aspects of divorce involve time sensitive pleadings, responses and actions. Making the right move and taking the right action in the first instance can sometimes make all the difference. Using an attorney to manage your entire divorce or just for specific portions can make the process faster, easier, and even more cost effective. With all that can be lost in a divorce or separation with even the smallest misstep; having someone to guide you and answer questions can ultimately lead you to the desired result and save you from costly or even irreversible mistakes.

If the other party is failing to comply with a previous court order see "contempt" below.
If your children are involved in this difficult process see "Parenting Rights and Responsibilities" below.

Same Gender Divorce

With the long overdue implementation of the right for same sex couples to marry, comes the right for them to access our laws regarding Divorce. Although our State has only recently allowed same sex couples to marry, the laws of Divorce have been around for years. Navigating this process

An attorney can assist with the entire process from start to finish ensuring that all questions are answered and proper documents are filed, or with specific services that make the process manageable.

See; "Divorce/Separation" above for more information

If the other party is failing to comply with a previous court order see "contempt" below.
If your children are involved in this difficult process see "Parenting Rights and Responsibilities" below.

Parenting Rights and Responsibilities (formerly custody and visitation)

Parenting Rights and Responsibilities, formerly known as custody and visitation, is one of, if not the most; emotional, frustrating and confusing aspect of family law. The laws are specific, requiring that detailed petitions and pleadings are filed. The Judges and Marital Masters have an extreme amount of discretion, making knowing your Judge or Marital Master and jurisdictional rights

When attempting to accomplish an original parenting plan, whether it is part of a Divorce proceeding or simply a Parenting proceeding; it is important to remember that this is the time to make a plan that will work for years to come. Modifying a parenting plan can be more difficult or even impossible at a later date. The laws in this area are coming around to respect both parents, but it often takes a good attorney to remind the judges of this.

If the other party is failing to comply with a previous court order see "contempt" below.

CONTEMPT

In cases where there is a court order and one party fails to comply with that order the court may hold that party in contempt. The conduct creating the alleged contempt must be willful, intentional and without good cause.

In some cases, if contempt is proven the court may award legal fees and costs to the non- offending party. It is important to plead this request at the outset and remind the court of this request throughout. The attorneys at Klug Law Offices will always make their best efforts to make sure that you are compensated for the other parties contempt.

In situations where the failure to comply with a current court order is not willful, intentional or without good cause a defense can be mounted to prevent an order of contempt or for legal fees and costs. To prevent further contempt actions a request for modification should be made to provide an order that can be appropriately complied with.

Unfortunately, it often feels that the court gives the other party many to many chances despite clear contempt. An attorney can help to make a thorough plan to collect evidence in the form of discovery that can make all the difference in your successful presentation to the court that the actions are willful and intentional and you do deserve to be compensated and he or she punished.

Modification

Modifications of Divorce Decrees, Parenting Plans and Uniform Support Orders (child support) are all options. The laws, standards and procedural rules surrounding a modification of any of the above are often very different than those laws, standards and procedures involved in the original proceedings. It is important to make the right moves from the very beginning as filing the wrong documents or using the wrong standards can cause delay and even rejection of your Petition(s).

Taking the right steps from the first move can accomplish the desired result in less time; ultimately saving not only time, but wasted money is overpayment of improper child support, expenses or alimony payments. In cases involving Parenting Plans and your child(ren)'s schedule making the right move from the beginning can avoid prolonged suffering for your child and let's face it, you dealing with the other parent and the current inadequate Order(s).

If the other party is failing to comply with a previous court order see “contempt” above.

Father’s Rights

For years, even decades, it seems that fathers have been treated differently than mothers in Court proceeding relating to their children. On their face the law in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire treats mothers and fathers the same. Often, because of the roles of mother and father prior to a divorce, legal separation or parenting petition there is a presumption that "mom" is the more appropriate place for the child(ren) to be. Sometimes, simply because the child is so young, father hasn't even been given the chance to be an equal part of the child(ren)'s lives. Unfortunately, there are still limited times when the "old fashion" views that mother is a more appropriate care taker can come into play and need to be aggressively fought against.

It is important to know the laws and to put up an aggressive fight for your children. It is just as important for children to have their fathers fully involved in their lives. Often it is more appropriate for children to be in the primary care of their father.

If the other party is failing to comply with a previous court order see “contempt” above.

Unwed Parents Right (and responsibilities)

Parents that were never married have the same access to the laws and same rights and responsibilities as those parents that were married. Children of unmarried parents have the same rights as children of parents that were or are married. In these cases; however, it is even more important to start the process as soon as it is clear the relationship is over. The earlier the process is started, the easier it is to put an appropriate parenting plan and uniform support order into place.

Putting a plan into place for your children, whether that plan is to fully include the other parent or to insist that he or she is responsible for his or her children, is important for you and even more important for your children.

If the other party is failing to comply with a previous court order see “contempt” above.

Unbundled Services

Unbundled Services allow you the assistance you require in the areas, for the purposes, and at the times that you need. Each service is provided at a flat fee rate, giving you the ability to know the cost prior to deciding which services you want.

Examples of unbundled services include but are note limited to:

  • ~ drafting of court documents
  • ~ drafting agreements
  • ~ attendance at specific hearings, settlement conferences or mediations
  • ~ legal consultations/advice (after the initial consultation)
  • ~ information/discovery requests
  • ~ review of documents (prepared by other counsel/party and/or at a mediation/settlement conference) with meeting for corresponding legal advice
  • ~ legal research
  • ~ evaluation of settlement/strategy options
  • ~ drafting letters
  • ~ assistance and guidance allowing you to represent yourself
  • ~ other portions of all family law matters.

If you have a particular service that you want assistance with, please call the office to determine what
we can do to make the process easier.

Paternity

Rights and/or responsibilities cannot be asserted or enforced prior to an initial determination of paternity by the courts or by admission. Relatively simple steps can be taken to prove or disprove paternity.

Once paternity is proven or admitted, plans regarding parenting rights, responsibilities and support can be put into place.

Domestic Violence (Restraining Orders)

At times abuse and violence are part of and often cause the end of relationships. The court provides specific procedures for dealing with abuse between family members and those with other close relationships.

If you are the victim of abuse it is important to take swift action and follow the proper procedures to protect your rights, yourself and any children that may be involved.

If you are being accused of abuse or violence that you did not commit, it is also extremely important to take swift action, follow the restrictions that may be put into place and understand your rights. If proper action is not taken at your first available chance your rights may be restrained for at least a year. Following actions for Divorce, parenting, child support, etc. may also be effected.

Your entire existence can be changed based on one hearing or one wrong move.

There are also Stalking Orders available for those that do not have the required relationship with the aggressor.

Property Division

Property division is sometimes the result of a Divorce and there are clear laws and standards set out with regard to this. It is important to understand that in most cases property division is Final once an order is made. Also, when a relationship is breaking down, personal property that may have sentimental or monetary value is often lost, as it is difficult to track and/or evidence same if steps are not taken from the start to document those items. Many people believe that personal property is not worth discussion during the divorce process as "it can be replaced." This is not true with some property such as baby mementos, holiday decorations, pictures that aren't digital, etc. All too often once the emotion and drama of the end of the relationship subsides, people realize what they have lost. In addition, and more practically, personal property has value that can be used to off-set other assets or obligations that may arise as a result of a divorce.

Often, parties do not marry, but have personal or real property that is entangled from a prior relationship that is ending. Although, the laws and standards are not as clear for these situations, there are options that allow for the division of personal and real property.

If the other party is failing to comply with a previous court order see “contempt” above.

Grandparents Rights (Guardianship)

The laws regarding Grandparents rights are different than those regarding the rights of parents. In certain situations grandparents do have rights. In extreme situations grandparents may even be appointed as guardians for their grandchildren.

If you have been kept from your grandchildren or believe that their parents are unwilling or unable to properly care for them contact the office to learn more about your rights and ability to provide for and protect your grandchildren.

Guardianships

There are many situations when the guardianship of a minor or an adult may be appropriate and necessary. There are also situations where another individual may believe that guardianship is necessary, when in fact it is not only unnecessary, but inappropriate.

When guardianship is necessary it is often and emergency and it is important to make the first step the right step and to keep the pressure on until the child or incapacitated adult is safe. Thereafter, there are specific steps and hearing that require the guidance of someone who knows the law and is on your side.

The Court may issue Orders for ex-parte and temporary guardianship, even if a final order of guardianship isn't appropriate. In these cases the proper parent or guardian of the child or adult has rights that must be properly asserted. The defending party may request a hearing that must be held no later than 5 days after the Order is entered. If a contested guardianship is entered after a final hearing it is very difficult to overturn the order, in fact the standard changes when this happens. Therefore, it is important to mount the best defense in the first interest, or in some cases enter into a temporary agreement that can more easily be amended when circumstances change.

 

 

Private Practice

Free Consultations; learn your rights and options for free!

Phone and Personal Consultation options available.

Weekend and evening appointments.

Meetings in Hooksett or Manchester Available.

Read more
Klug Law Offices, PLLC
Aggressive and Attentive Legal Services
1802 Elm Street, Suite 7
Manchester, NH 03104
(603) 606-2078