Friday, October 24, 2014

OUSTER IN AN ADVERSE POSSESSION

In an adverse possession case, the party seeking to claim the disputed property must demonstrate 20 years of continued, uninterrupted use of the land. One defense to this claim is to show the adverse possessor’s use was interrupted at some point in that 20-year period. This is known as “ouster.” What constitutes ouster that is sufficient to halt the running of the adverse possession clock is an issue of fact to be resolved by the trial court.

In the recent Supreme Court case Gallo v. Traina, the Court defined ouster as an act “as such as would put a reasonable notice that their adverse possession claim has been halted. A mere casual entry for a limited purpose by the record owner is not necessarily sufficient to destroy the adverse possession.” In the Gallo case, the placement of a post and fence and occasional yard work did not interfere with the adverse possessor’s use of the land which included paving, plowing, and placing walls.

To respond to an adverse possession claim with the defense of ouster, the defending party must catalog as many actions that occurred in a disputed parcel with photographs and descriptions so that a court could find that the adverse possessor knew or should have known that some other person was making use of the disputed land.

If you have any questions regarding adverse possession, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss. The attorneys at Hamblett & Kerrigan have experience in handling such situations. Let Hamblett & Kerrigan use their experience to your advantage.

Andrew J. Piela is a Director at Hamblett & Kerrigan, P.A. Mr. Piela concentrates his practice in civil litigation, family law, probate and land use litigation. You can reach Attorney Piela by e-mail at apiela@nashualaw.com.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

When Do I Need A Lawyer?

As a general law practice, we assist individuals and businesses every day. Our lawyers are experienced in many areas of law, and are here to provide you services and advice. Our legal experience and professional judgment will assist you when making important decisions throughout the legal process.

Oftentimes, legal advice is best sought as a preventive measure. Whether you are coordinating personal affairs or business matters, Hamblett & Kerrigan will help you navigate the legal challenges and confusions with confidence and comfort.

Families and individuals commonly consult attorneys regarding will, estate matters, retirement planning, or even advice on a closely help corporation and generational transfers. Speaking with an attorney about your personal situation will safeguard against potential losses that could be avoided with better planning. Business should be aware of the many areas of law possibly affecting their future. Hamblett & Kerrigan assist businesses at every stage of development, from initial startup and managing growth concerns, to issues relating to the sale, merger, or dissolution of the business. We also offer counseling and negotiation services to assist with business dispute resolution.

Individuals also consult with attorneys during the most traumatic events in their lives, whether it’s the breakup of a family unit or whether you or a loved one sustains serious personal injury. At Hamblett & Kerrigan, we have the resources and experience to provide you with high-quality legal representation in even the most difficult and complex legal matters. Our attorneys have valuable experience in resolving these matters, whether it’s through settlement or trial.

Legal planning is a great way to avoid negative situations and avoid potential financial loss. Even with the best planning, you may still face unfamiliar situations with uncertain results. In these instances consulting a lawyer is a great first step. Whether you have been in an accident or involved in a contractual or employment dispute or face a divorce or custody challenge, we will understand the problems and work to reach an equitable.

Allow Hamblett & Kerrigan to be there, by your side, to give you a legal advantage.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What To Do If Your Spouse Cheats On You

The breakup of a marriage can be one of the most difficult and painful experiences a person can suffer. This pain can be exacerbated by the discovery of a spouse’s infidelity. The initial reaction of most people is to confront his or her spouse immediately upon learning of the infidelity. This, often times, can result in a disadvantage to the innocent spouse.

Upon learning of your spouse’s infidelity, it is recommended that you take the following steps before you confront your spouse:

1. Consult a lawyer – Whether your spouse’s conduct amounts to adultery under law is an important legal consideration you must ascertain before proceeding. A lawyer should be able to provide you the guidance and knowledge to determine whether you have a basis for a divorce on the grounds of adultery. The lawyer can also provide you with valuable insight into the steps to be taken prior to disclosing your knowledge of the affair to your spouse. It is typically in your best interest to consult a lawyer early in order to know your legal rights to protect you and your family.

2. Collect financial information – Once the cheating spouse discovers that you are aware of his or her infidelity, the cheating spouse often times hides or conceals key information from the innocent spouse. It is important for you to obtain discretely copies of significant financial documentation such as pay stubs, tax returns, bank account statements, credit card statements, retirement and pension plan statements, etc. You should use great caution and care to ensure that you obtain the copies of the documents without raising the suspicion of the cheating spouse, as the timing of the disclosure of your knowledge of the affair is critical.

3. Document valuable personal property – Often times, the cheating spouse will conceal and hide certain valuable property such as jewelry, paintings, rugs, collections, collectibles, etc. Even though the law imposes a restraining order on concealing and hiding assets, the restraining order is not enforceable until after the cheating suppose is served the divorce petition. Accordingly, it is important that you itemize and documents via videotape or photography these items as evidence to the court of the cheating spouse’s concealment of assets.

4. Financial irregularities - As discretely as possible, it is recommended that you look for past and present financial irregularities as evidence of the adultery. This investigation should be limited to joint accounts you hold with your spouse. If your spouse maintains individual accounts you should not look at these accounts unless you consult with a lawyer first. Even if you know your spouse is password in order to enter the account, you may be violating a criminal statute by accessing the accounts.

5. Gather evidence of the adultery – Many times the innocent spouse looks “to catch his/her spouse in the act” of the adultery and will follow or conduct surveillance. It is recommended that if the innocent spouse wants to conduct surveillance that he or she hire a licensed private investigator and not conduct the surveillance by his or herself or by using a friend or family member. Due to the emotional nature of these situations, surveillance by the innocent spouse, a friend or a family member may result in a dangerous situation to the people involved. In order to avoid safety and potential criminal acts, it is recommended that a licensed private investigator be used who is experienced in emotional separation from the situation and will provide the most effective and safe surveillance possible. Sometimes some spouses will use means to intercept the cheating spouse’s e-mails and phone calls as well as record conversations between the cheating spouse and his or her paramour. Do not engage in any of these acts without consulting a lawyer first. Federal and state statutes create a criminal offense for intercepting phone and e-mail messages as well as recording conversations. Accordingly, it is important that you consult with a lawyer before engaging in any of these activities.

6. Consult your physician and/or therapist – The grief and pain associated with learning of a spouse’s infidelity can cause significant physical and mental injuries. It is not uncommon for the innocent spouse to suffer physical and emotional ailments as a result of learning of his or her spouse’s infidelity. It is important that these ailments be documented by a physician and/or counselor as this may be evidence of the harm you suffered in the adultery proceedings. You must be aware that the medical and counseling records will be made available to your spouse to review as part of the divorce proceedings.

While not disclosing the knowledge of the affair to your spouse may be difficult to achieve, the benefits of taking the above steps may make a difference for you in the divorce case. If you have any questions regarding a divorce, whether it be on adultery or other grounds, please contact one of the qualified attorneys at Hamblett & Kerrigan for a consultation.

Kevin P. Rauseo is a director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. He concentrates his practice in the areas of family and divorce law, Collaborative law, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony, personal injury, insurance defense, slip and fall accidents, automobile and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, dog bites and civil litigation. He is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professional and serves on the Professional Development Committee and has previously served on the Public Education Advisory Panel of the Academy. He also is a member of the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire. AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Recipient of the 2014 Nationally Ranked Top 10 Attorney Award from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (NAFLA). You can reach Attorney Rauseo at krauseo@nashualaw.com.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When do I need a divorce or family law attorney?

At Hamblett & Kerrigan we have the resources and experience to provide you with high-quality legal representation in even the most complex family law matters. We handle divorces, same-sex divorces and family issues, nontraditional family issues, post-divorce modifications, complex parental rights issues (custody and visitation issues), grandparent visitation issues, family business divisions, alimony awards, child support matters, adoptions and domestic violence issues.

We have extensive experience in handling such matters as valuing professional and closely held business, division of pensions and retirement accounts, dealing with alimony and child support issues, and negotiating workable, lasting parenting arrangements. We also have extensive experience in both prosecuting and defending against fault-based divorces, such as adultery, habitual drunkenness, conduct to injure health and/or reason and extreme cruelty cases. Our attorneys provide sensitive and caring representation in the most difficult cases involving domestic violence. At Hamblett & Kerrigan, we understand that family law matters often involve emotional, personal and financial stress, changes in family structure, and in some cases can involve your physical safety. All of your communications with our office will be held in the strictest confidence and handled with the utmost propriety and sensitivity.

Allow Hamblett & Kerrigan to be there, by your side, to give you a legal advantage.

For more information please Click Here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How To Prove Adultery In New Hampshire

Many people are under the misconception that in order to prove adultery there must be either photographic or videotape evidence of the sexual intercourse. This is not so. While video and photographic evidence is helpful, it is not required. Instead, circumstantial evidence of both opportunity and inclination are considered sufficient evidence on the issue of adultery.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has outlined that adultery is "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband." Accordingly, a divorce may be granted if it is shown that one spouse engaged in an adulterous relationship, and the adulterous relationship was the primary cause of the breakdown of the marriage. In describing what is required to prove adultery, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has stated “it is a matter of common knowledge … that eye witnesses are not usually available in adultery cases so that circumstantial evidence of both opportunity and inclination is considered competent evidence on the issue of adultery.”

Inclination is nothing more than establishing that the cheating spouse had the desire to engage in sexual intercourse with another not his or her spouse. This is often time established by evidence of e-mails and text messages between the parties or through cell phone records establishing contact of long duration or during unusual hours. Evidence of inclination can also be established by testimony of witness who have observed inappropriate comments and/or contact between the spouse and his/her lover.

Evidence of opportunity may be established by evidence of the cheating spouse and his or her paramour either entering or exiting house or hotel; or spending time alone in an automobile in a secluded place. This evidence is often derived from an eye witness testimony, whether it be a friend, neighbor or a private detective. Evidence of opportunity can also be established by e-mails wherein the cheating spouse acknowledges being alone with his or her paramour, even if it does not state that they had sexual intercourse. Courts have found such e-mails sufficient circumstantial evidence in order to grant a divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Even though you may have significant evidence of inclination and opportunity, that is not sufficient, by itself, to obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery. The innocent spouse also must prove that the adultery was the primary cause for the breakup of the marriage. While most marriages experience difficulties, these difficulties, in and of themselves, are often not sufficient to defeat a claim of adultery. Sometimes, however, a marriage may be broken down well before the adulterous act. In such cases, the court may not grant a divorce based upon adultery.

Even if a spouse proves the existence of an adulterous relationship and that the adulterous relationship is the primary reason for the divorce, the innocent spouse is also required to prove that the adultery caused either substantial emotional harm to him or her, or resulted in a substantial financial loss to the marital estate.

If you have any questions regarding an adultery claim, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss. The attorneys at Hamblett & Kerrigan have experience in handling such situations. Let Hamblett & Kerrigan use their experience to your advantage.

Kevin P. Rauseo is a director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. He concentrates his practice in the areas of family and divorce law, Collaborative law, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony, personal injury, insurance defense, slip and fall accidents, automobile and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, dog bites and civil litigation. He is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professional and serves on the Professional Development Committee and has previously served on the Public Education Advisory Panel of the Academy. He also is a member of the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire. AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Recipient of the 2014 Nationally Ranked Top 10 Attorney Award from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (NAFLA). You can reach Attorney Rauseo at krauseo@nashualaw.com.