Affording an Attorney for Your Divorce or Parenting Issue

Posted by on February 25, 2018 in Child Support, Divorce, Family Law, Parenting Rights & Custody

  Facing a divorce or parenting issue can feel daunting, especially if you feel unable to afford an attorney to help you through the process.  In New Hampshire, there are some options that can help you afford an attorney. One option that the law in New Hampshire allows is for you to use an attorney in a limited-representation capacity.  This is a process where you hire an attorney to help with the parts of the legal process with which you are less comfortable handling on your own.  The attorneys at Shanelaris & Schirch can assist with such aspects of your divorce, parenting issue, or other family law matter by preparing documents, clarifying the law, helping you make a strategy, as well as other legal services.  You handle what you want to handle and then hire one of the Shanelaris & Schirch attorneys for the rest. In New Hampshire, another option may be available to you if your income and assets are limited.  The program that can help is the NH Bar Association Modest Means program and you may qualify for reduced rates from attorneys who participate in the Modest Means program.  If you think you may qualify for reduced rates for legal help, your first step is to complete this online pre-qualification form, or you can call the Lawyer Referral Service at 603.229.0002. If you qualify, you will be referred to an attorney who accepts clients through this program.  If you hire that attorney, the attorney will provide you with legal expertise and charge you the hourly rate calculated by the program intake specialists. The attorneys at Shanelaris & Schirch can help you with your family law issues, and we can help keep those costs affordable for you by working for you on a limited basis or by helping you through the Modest Means program if you qualify....

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Facebook Posts Can Land You in Jail

Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Criminal Law, Family Law, General Law, Parenting Rights & Custody, Restraining Orders, Uncategorized

This year the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a conviction of a man for stalking, criminal threatening and witness tampering based on his Facebook posts. In the case of State of New Hampshire v. Brian Craig (https://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/2015/2015011craig.pdf ), Mr. Craig was found guilty of these charges after a series of posts directed at one specific victim.  The victim worked as a bartender and waitress at a restaurant that Mr. Craig and his friends frequented.  Mr. Craig tried to have a relationship with the victim which she declined.  He began writing letters to her and the victim found the letters threatening and intimidating.  The victim contacted the police and the police served Mr. Craig with a stalking warning letter.  After receiving warning letter, Mr. Craig sent another written letter to the victim.  The victim then obtained a domestic violence protective order.  After receiving the restraining order informing him he was to have no contact with the victim, Mr. Craig began posting a series of comments on his public Facebook page.  The victim had not friended Mr. Craig but found his posts through a Facebook search because the comments were public.  After reading the posts, the victim called the police.  Mr. Craig was arrested for the criminal charges including violations of the restraining order. Mr. Craig defend himself by saying that he had not named the victim specifically by her name in his posts and did not send her the messages directly – the comments were merely posted on his public profile page.  However, the Court found that Mr. Craig had specifically told the victim he had put comments on his Facebook page.  When he did this, he was directing the communications to her.  Mr. Craig had no other logical reason to make the posts on his Facebook page.  The Court found that Mr. Craig was specifically trying to communicate his comments to the victim.  The Court found that the comments were meaningless to anyone else except the victim and the intent was to stalk and threaten the victim. When posting to Facebook, be aware that public comments can make a personal legally responsible for the comments made.  It is best to vent any negative comments to your friends and in your private off-line diary and not on Facebook or any other social...

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Parenting in the Holiday Season

Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Collaborative Law, Divorce, Family Law, Parenting Rights & Custody

As we approach the holidays, tensions can run high amongst family members; that may be especially true for divorced or separated parents.  As parents we want the holiday season to be filled with joy for our children as well as for ourselves.  We reflect back on our holidays during our own childhood and strive to replicate the joy or replace what may be our own difficult memories with beautiful memories for our own children.  For parents that are newly divorced or separated this time of year may be even more stressful as the pain of loss of the once intact family feels ever present.  One of the best gifts that divorced parents can give their children is a peaceful holiday season.  As difficult as it may be for you, the parent, it is more difficult for your children.  They feel the painful loss as well, and want nothing more than to be able to spend time with both parents as well as extended family and friends.  Those events and activities that make up our holiday traditions are important to them as well.  So, while it may be difficult it is likely best if you are able to negotiate the holiday schedule well in advance of the holiday itself.  Respect both families and extended families and their traditions, and above all, remember that your children are a piece of both parents and an appreciation and respect for all family members will show your children how to negotiate and resolve conflict in the most positive way. A Lesson from Dickens for Co-Parents this Holiday...

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First Appearance

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Divorce, Family Law, Mediation Services, Parenting Rights & Custody

Nearly all family law cases are heard by a judge in the Circuit Court-Family Division.  The Family Division handles cases involving divorce.  It also handles cases involving parenting actions between unmarried persons.  Parenting actions used to be called “custody” or “visitation” cases.  Parents in divorce or parenting actions involving children under the age of 18 must attend an initial session at the court house known as a “First Appearance.”  The First Appearance session is scheduled in a few weeks after a case is filed at the Family Division court.  The First Appearance session is held in a court room with a Family Division judge providing information about the Court process and the important role of parents in the process.  Parents are provided with written information about the court process, mediation and how to work toward resolving their case without litigation.   Parents are also provided information about scheduling their attendance at the Child Impact Program.  All parents of minor children must attend this mandatory parenting class.  At the end of the First Appearance session, parents schedule the next event in their case – either a case manager conference, mediation, or a court hearing.  Attendance by parents at the First Appearance session is mandatory, unless specifically excused by the Court.  No action is usually taken by the Court until the parents attend the First...

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