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NEW HAMPSHIRE DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in New Hampshire. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.
Divorce in New Hampshire Made Easy (See New Hampshire Divorce Help Center)
- Time Frame: A first appearance is normally within 30 days of the filing, and the spouses normally receive the final decree within 30 days after the first appearance.
- Where to File: Superior Court. "The State of New Hampshire, Superior Court in and for ________________." (See New Hampshire Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated; Chapters 458:5, 458:6, and 458.9.
- Name of Action: Petition for Divorce.
- Name of Parties: Petitioner, the name of the filing spouse, and respondent, the name of the non-filing spouse.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Both No-Fault and Fault.
- Primary Documents Filed: Petition for Divorce and Decree of Divorce. (See NH Forms List With Explanations)
- Separation Time to File: None.
- Legal Separation Permitted: The grounds for a legal separation - separate maintenance - are the same as those for divorce.
- Grounds: No-Fault, which means Irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage; and Fault, which includes traditional grounds and a refusal to cohabitate for six months. (See New Hampshire Laws for Divorce)
- Residency Requirement: Both parties must be residents of the state and the petitioner must be a resident of New Hampshire for a least one year prior to filing or; the grounds occurred in the state and one of the spouses must be a resident for at least one year before filing. The divorce shall be filed in the county in which either spouse resides.
- Mediation Required: Mediation is voluntary in New Hampshire.
- Counseling Required: if the court believes there is likelihood for rehabilitation of the marriage relationship, before or during a hearing but before a final decree, it shall refer the parties to an appropriate counseling agency. The court may make the referral if the parties request it.
- Parenting Classes Required: New Hampshire requires divorcing parents to complete the Child Impact Program before a divorce decree is issued. This program is a four-hour seminar to help parents understand the impact of divorce and custody decisions on children. The seminar helps increase the children's self esteem and resolve conflict at home.
- Filing Fee: Up to $225. (See NH Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: A deadbeat parent faces a variety of penalties including jail time. The Division of Child Support Services of the New Hampshire of the Department of Health and Human Services assists in the collection and enforcement of child support.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: New Hampshire utilizes the percentage of income formula that calculates the amount of child support as a percentage of the income of the obligor (paying) parent.
- Property Division: Equitable distribution, with an all-property routine.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is marital.
- Attendance at Hearing: Both spouses must attend the First Appearance Session, which is not really a hearing, but rather an opportunity for the Court to meet with the parties and explain how the process will go. If both parties agree to waive the divorce hearing in the Final Decree, the First Appearance Session is the only time either appears in court. If one spouse lives a outside the state, oftentimes the requirement to attend the First Appearance Session is waived.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: No.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: Divorce papers may be served on the office of the Secretary of State, with the same effect as if served on the defendant at his or her abode or place of business in the state or country where he or she resides.
- Learn More About New Hampshire Divorce.
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