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Salem New Hampshire Legal Blog

How money issues can unravel the ties that bind

Money is perhaps the biggest and most constant source of stress that most of us will face. It is no surprise, then, that money issues also a major source of tension in marriages and a frequent reason for divorce.

This problem has been studied by everyone from sociologists to marriage counselors to financial professionals. A recent article in Business Insider combined observations from a number of these observers and identified about a dozen financial behaviors or scenarios that put serious strain on a relationship.

They can’t do that, can they?

A recent incidence involving a traffic stop for suspected impairment has many people wondering exactly how far police can go to secure an arrest? It was a Friday night in Phoenix when a 47-year-old driver was pulled over after observed speeding and weaving in and out of their designated lane. The man's speech was slowed, and his pupils were dilated, red and watery. He confessed to the officer that he had smoked marijuana just a few hours before and consumed a sedative the evening prior after he failed a field sobriety test. After passing a breath test, the officer confirmed he hadn't been drinking but suspected that his driving was impaired by drug consumption. 

Unfortunately, breath tests cannot detect drugs. What happened next seems almost surreal. A DUI police van arrived on the scene. Inside the van was a table and chair, fashioned as a portable blood testing facility. After the man refused to submit to a blood test, the office filed for an electronic warrant and submitted it to a judge. Within ten minutes, search warrant in hand, the officer drew some of the man’s blood. The results showed active levels of THC in his bloodstream. 

Should lottery winnings be split if the couple was separated?

Most people think of marriage and divorce as binary options: After getting married, you are either married or divorced. But there is a third option: legal separation. And while many see it as just a stepping stone to divorce, it is a distinct relationship status that can come with its own protections, rights, and complications.

One of those complications is how to treat assets acquired by one spouse after a couple has separated. Should it be considered marital property to be split if the couple later gets divorced? Or should it remain the property of one spouse alone? The importance of this question was recently highlighted by a case in which a man won the lottery after separating from his wife.

Estate planners should update after a child's college graduation

June can be a major month for parents of children who just recently graduated from college. While there is a sense of pride from seeing your kid finally get their degree after years of hard work, you may also feel dread knowing what they are up against next.

As they are getting their new lives sorted out, you should take the time to examine yours. Estate planning experts often recommend updating your will or trust when a major life event occurs. Most people often associate those events with themselves such as marriage, childbirth and moving states. Even though you’re not the one graduating from college and adjusting to a new life, you should consider how your child’s new circumstances affect your current estate plan.

Repeat DUIs must be handled carefully to reach the best outcome

If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) before, you probably already know how severe the penalties are for drunk driving in New Hampshire. However, repeat offenses are penalized more severely than a first offense is, and it can be more difficult to get any leniency.

DWI stop: What is reasonable suspicion?

A driver's license is a privilege, but as a motorist you also have a certain set of rights. For instance, police need a reason to pull you over.

Every traffic stop, including stops for drunk driving, must begin with reasonable suspicion. Police officers must think that a law is being violated before they can make the stop. The basis for reasonable suspicion varies widely - from traffic violations to a malfunctioning tail light - but it is always important to know your rights.

Off-Duty police officer kills young woman in DWI crash

Earlier this month, tragedy struck the small town of Londonberry, New Hampshire. An off-duty police officer, who joined the force in 2016, now faces aggravated DWI charges after striking a vehicle in a head-on collision. The young woman driving the vehicle that was struck was only 21 years old.

Local authorities are investigating the off-duty police officer's impairment due to a high consumption of alcohol. Apparently, his vehicle coasted into oncoming traffic, striking and killing the female driver Friday night. He was taken to a nearby hospital due to sustained injuries.

Your child’s other parent must respect your parenting time

In almost every case, divorce is difficult for couples with children. While spouses who choose to divorce before they have children may essentially leave each other's lives for good, parents must find a way to end their marriage but hold their family together, and this can prove one of the most difficult experiences of a lifetime.

In an ideal world, both parents approach their responsibility to raise their child with patience and civility, respecting each other's rights as parents and focusing on the needs of their child above their own preferences. However, this is rarely how the experience plays out, especially in the first few years of learning to share parenting time.

Using trusts to boost financial stability of adult children

When you are creating an estate plan, you might think that you can breathe a sigh of relief when your children become adults. Many parents assume that if they leave assets to an adult child that they will be able to handle the responsibility that comes with it. While this might be true in some cases, it isn't in every case.

There are times when you might have to think hard about what you are going to do to pass the assets to them. Fortunately, you have an option that can help you handle the transition of assets from your estate to your adult children.

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