Sunday, October 2, 2016

Taxes - Claiming Dependents - Prenuptial Agreements - Injury Preventions - Bartis News NH

Claiming Dependent Tax Exemptions
• The impact of dependent exemptions on tax returns and the resulting refunds is significant. When parents separate, exemptions are allocated between them. However, when there are child support payments, the paying parent must be current through December 31st in order to claim any dependent tax exemptions for that year. If they are not, those exemptions revert to the other parent.  

Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements

• Prenuptial agreements are a practical way to take as much uncertainty out of a divorce as possible by allowing couples to determine how assets would be divided. However, one person may question the validity of the agreement during litigation, requiring a determination on enforceability. Courts look at the totality of circumstances surrounding the preparation of the agreement, including the time between execution and the wedding. It is highly recommended for at least 30 days between signing and the ceremony.

Safety First - Increased Risks of Injury

• With fall weather here it's only be a matter of time before frost, ice, and snow are upon us. Roadways and walkways will become treacherous for drivers and pedestrians alike. If you are injured or your property is damaged as a result of someone else's unsafe behavior or negligence, our office can and will help get the compensation you deserve.

Community Happenings

• The fall weather is finally upon us and that means fairs and festivals! Check out these family-friendly local events:
• Deerfield Fair (Deerfield NH) ◦New England's Oldest 'Family Fair' -140 Years of Agricultural Family Fun
◦ Thursday, September 29th at 8 am through Sunday, October 2nd at 7 pm

• The Big E (West Springfield MA) ◦Celebrating 100 Years - A Century of Greatness
◦ Friday, September 16th at 8 am through Sunday, October 2nd at 10 pm

• Milford Pumpkin Festival (Milford NH) ◦27th Annual Great Pumpkin Festival
◦ Friday, October 7th at 5 pm through Sunday, October 9th at 3 pm

Bob Bartis is now broadcasting on these local radio stations: and

• Check out the latest Bob Bartis NASCAR Podcast:

By Robert Bartis


Monday, August 8, 2016

Using Drones for Criminal Law Enforcement According to the New Hampshire Bill

New Hampshire Drone Laws
Benefits and Pitfalls of Drones

They used to be objects used only in sci-fi and spy thriller movies.  But now drones are so common and ubiquitous, and they have dozens of uses from delivery to photography, and even spying.  The results of information obtained by drones can be used as ground for filing lawsuits and divorce.

Yes, drones are handy for accessing what otherwise may be unsafe or heavily guarded areas.  Because of their size and quiet nature, drones, can be easily directed into tight little spaces or unusually high altitudes that would otherwise be hazardous for humans to get to without getting caught or seriously injured.  This was already proven by an incident where a drone crashed right onto White House grounds.  It clearly indicates that drones pose threats to human privacy and security. 

Highlights of the Proposed New Hampshire House Bill 1620

Current legal systems and existing laws have recognized the dangers of drones to privacy and security but have yet to be refined.  About 20 states have enacted some laws to provide control measures against drones and incorporate their proper use in line with the Fourth Amendment. 

The FAA also proposed new guidelines for commercial drone uses. The guidelines cover the altitudes and navigable airspace allowed for drones.  These are still up in the air and also need to be carefully studied by legislators. 

One main issue involves the use of drone for police or military surveillance work, particularly the legality of such practice vis-a-vis human right to privacy.

After two years of work and research regarding use of aerial drone photography, House Bill 1620 was sponsored by Rep. Neal Kurk of New Hampshire and passed to the state Senate.  This bill protects against drone misuse and abuse especially by private entities.

Kurk explained that private use of drones, such as for photography or videotaping of wild animals in their natural habitats, is allowed under the new bill. The bill also states that drones are allowed for use in criminal law enforcement provided that a warrant was issued for it.  The information and evidence obtained from using a drone must also be directly related to the warrant and must be reported to the state Attorney General.  Drone use with warrants is limited to two days. The Attorney General’s office has the final say on whether the information is in order, or alternatively destroy it. 
Definitely, drones are not allowed for use inside buildings as that would be breaching personal privacy. 


There may also be exceptions to the above conditions, such as federal agencies that use drones to track down terrorists even with no warrant.  This will require authorization of the federal government.  The bill provides for “preemption” conditions where the federal government can extend the right to supersede state laws especially where public safety may depend heavily on the drone-gathered evidence. 

Violators of the drone criminal law, whether public or private, would be guilty of Class B felony and subject to penalties up to $10,000. 

The Bill also contains other drone-related matters, such as liability and personal injury laws for people who were accidentally injured by drones, as well as people who intercept a drone.

By Robert Bartis


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Avoid a DUI This St. Paddy's Day - DUI Attorney in NH

DUI attorney in NH - Saint Patricks Day
Know Your Limits: Avoid St. Patrick’s Day Drinking Mistakes

With St. Patrick’s Day taking place this week, many New Hampshire residents will be taking part in celebrations. From parades to special events, residents will find much to see and do on the holiday. While there is fun to be had, it is also important to remember to stay safe during the festivities. When you go out for St. Patrick’s Day, remember your limits. The holiday is big on drinking, especially beer, which can lead to trouble if you are not thinking clearly. Check out these tips below to avoid common St. Patrick’s Day drinking mistakes.

Set a Limit

When you decide you are going out this week for St. Patrick’s Day, set a limit. Tell yourself you will only have so many drinks and have someone with you that you trust. You can easily get into trouble if you have one too many drinks and no one to help you get home. Avoid driving when drinking, so you do not find yourself facing DUI charges from the New Hampshire police department!

Choose Your Drink Wisely

Choose what you drink wisely. You know what you can handle. Stick to beer if you just want to have a good time and avoid the hard liquor. Too much whiskey or rum could end in a result of rash decisions that could get you into trouble or even hurt. Know which drinks cause you to act a certain way and choose accordingly. You want to have fun but not endanger yourself or others.

Designated Driver

If you are going out and know that you will be drinking, be sure to find a designated driver. This could be a friend or family member who goes out with you or calling a transportation service such as a taxi cab. You need to be safe on the roads as well as help others to be safe. If you drink then drive, you are not only endangering yourself but also everyone else on the roadways. Make sure you have someone to assist you in getting home so you do not drive and put yourself at risk as well as other people. You can avoid harming others as well as a DUI charge that is imminent when you drink and drive.

Avoid the Roads 

It can be much safer to just avoid the roads altogether during St. Patrick’s Celebrations or limit the time you celebrate to the earlier evening hours. Go home by 10 or 11 p.m. to avoid being on the roadways when people might choose to drink and drive. You cannot control the actions of others but you can be aware of your surroundings. Leave the bar or pub before it gets too late and you know the roadways will be patrolled by local police.

During major holidays, local police set up roadblocks to check for ID as well as for those who may have been drinking. You can feel safe knowing that police are trying to keep a handle on drinking and driving. Be sure that you avoid partaking in this activity so you do not become another fatality on the roadways due to drinking then driving. If you believe you have been falsely accused and arrested for DUI, contact a New Hampshire DUI attorney.

By Robert Bartis


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Child Support Modification Laws in New Hampshire

The statute indicates that child support can be modified either every three years or if there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrants such an adjustment.  However, the court does not want, or have the resources to handle, a flurry of activity every time something simple or routine happens in someone’s payment schedule, i.e., a minimal annual raise or minor increase in rate of pay.  So, the court has established a procedure by which the parties can return for a review on the three-year anniversary date of the original child support court order. Otherwise, the only time the parties can seek to modify child support is if there is a substantial change in circumstances. That term can be ambiguously and broadly interpreted by the court and it is often a very fact-specific based argument. 

Support Changes & Modification Circumstances

Specifically, you have to make a compelling argument as to why you cannot pay the same amount and what circumstances occurred that necessitate such a change.  Frequent examples will be when someone changes their job status from part time to full time or full time to part time; a medical illness or a debilitating disease occurs; some type of personal injury results in a loss of employment and/or a temporary hiatus is needed due to short  term or long term disability; a company’s closure or layoffs; loss of regular and consistent overtime; some type of seasonal work change or, conversely, a promotion or company merger that results in a better rate of pay for someone. 

Free Consultations

As you can see, all of these situations result in individual families being reviewed and examined by the court as to the circumstances surrounding the need for a modification. If the judge determines that there has been a substantial change then the child support order will be modified on a temporary or a long-term basis.  If you feel that you have sufficient grounds to have your child support recalculated, please contact our office for a free consultation.

By Robert Bartis


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Laws for 2016 in New Hampshire

Three ways to lose out in 2016 – lose your money, lose your reputation and lose your liberty. Amongst the many new laws of 2016, here are three quick points to bear in mind and to consider:
 Losing Money

1.    The failure to yield/move over law enacted for 2016 going forward results in an increased fine for anyone convicted of failing to yield to emergency vehicles.  Not only does this include roadside motor vehicle stops by police but also fire trucks and ambulances, as well as plow trucks, and tow vehicles that are assisting law enforcement or fire department personnel.  To avoid a motor vehicle offense, motorists must make every attempt to distance themselves from the scene by pulling into the neighboring lane and giving as wide a berth as possible to these emergency vehicles.  Fines for subsequent convictions have also increased.  The choice is yours: Either “move over or fork over” money to the State.

Losing Your Reputation
2.    There has been a new enactment and provision to the sex offender/lewd and obscene behavior statute.  Going forward, any sexual or obscene-type act that is witnessed by someone under the age of sixteen (16) can result in a criminal complaint being filed under the sex-offender statute.  While most people will think that type of situation could never happen to them, the way this statute is written is meant to “expose” individuals to a new charge. For example, any type of public urination that is witnessed by someone under 16 could bring about this charge.  Furthermore, sexual relations between consenting adults that is witnessed in public by someone under 16 could also bring about this charge.  In essence, and in practical terms, that spontaneous moment between couples on a beach, hiking trail, picnic spot or open field, if witnessed by any person under the age of 16, could result in arrest and a criminal complaint.  The publication of this charge falls under the sex offender statute and, thus, your reputation and public perception could be immediately lost. Therefore, the classic cliché of “get a room” absolutely applies and is the best advice, legal or otherwise, you could get in such situations.

Losing Your Liberty

3.    The restraining order/stalking statutes have been amended and now include a provision requiring mandatory incarceration for any violation of an existing court order.  Prior to 2016, if someone was granted a restraining order against another individual and an alleged violation of said order occurred, the bail commissioner and the police department had discretion, based upon the severity of the offense, as to whether or not to release the alleged offender or hold him/her until a judge could make a determination.  However, as of January 1, 2016, any alleged violation of a restraining order or stalking order will result in mandatory incarceration until such time as a judge determines the safety of the victim and the likelihood of repeat offenses.  In practical terms, if an alleged violation occurs in a husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend situation, for which there is an existing court order, it will now result in mandatory incarceration until the matter is addressed by a judge. For example, if an alleged violation for a phone call, drive by of the residence, incidental/accidental contact at a restaurant, a department store, or a public parking lot occurs on a Friday evening, this could result in you being held at the County Jail until Monday morning for court, or worse case until Tuesday, if there is a holiday observed by the court and they are closed on Monday.  Thus, a temporary of loss of good judgment could now result in an immediate loss of liberty for several days. If you have questions regarding these new laws or other are facing incarceration you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Hampshire.

By Robert Bartis


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Child Support Calculations in NH - Year-end Bonus or Commission Checks

The definition of child support is broadly defined and can include any and all sources of income regardless of the dollar amount. Thus, year-end bonuses, Christmas bonuses, commission checks and any other type of income you receive from your employer can be factored in and utilized for the purposes of calculating a child support obligation. Typically, when someone is engaged in employment where they receive a sales commission or bonus on a regular quarterly or annual basis, the parties going through a custodial parenting situation or divorce will address this matter first hand and have the court provide for a calculation and division of these funds as a part of their divorce decree or parenting plan. 

Calculating Commissions & Bonus Pay

In practical terms, the court will look at the gross amount of the commission and enter an order that incorporates a percentage of the bonus into that parent’s child support payment.  Proof of the bonuses or commissions must be exchanged between the parties and a payment ranging anywhere from 20% to 35% of said bonus or commission, based upon the number of children involved, will then be paid from the recipient of the bonus or commission to the other parent. 

Negotiating Child Support Payments

One strategy that I frequently use in negotiations is to seek a payment of a net amount as opposed to a gross amount.  While the court can require a gross amount based on the applicable statutory default, the parties can agree to differ from the definition which often times saves money for the person paying support. Conversely, if I am representing the recipient, I want to ensure that a gross amount is included in the calculation and will not necessarily agree to a net amount as it would likely result in a decreased amount of support to my client. 
The bottom line is that a bonus check and/or a commission check can be used as a bargaining tool in the child support payment process and we would be happy to discuss various options and alternatives with you. 

Please feel free to schedule a free consultation to discuss these and other child support related matters with one our family law attorneys.

By Robert Bartis