The decision to get divorced is often not an easy one to make. Usually, it comes after much deliberation and plenty of stress. Now that you have reached this point, you want to move forward as quickly and with as little trouble as possible. Fortunately, New Hampshire makes getting divorced straightforward, particularly if you are seeking an uncontested divorce – one where you and your spouse are in agreement on issues like property division and child custody and support (if you have children). If this is the case, you may even be able to process your divorce without a lawyer. If you qualify to do the divorce yourself, you could proceed by filling out the required divorce papers in New Hampshire and filing them with your county clerk to begin the process. CompleteCase.com can make the process even easier. With CompleteCase.com you’ll have the assistance needed to choose the right New Hampshire divorce forms and the help to complete the documents correctly.
If you and your spouse are having trouble coming to terms on the divorce, you may want to seek a mediated divorce. Or, if your situation is complex and there are several areas of disagreement, you might consider the help of a divorce attorney.
The following information will help you to better understand the basics of a New Hampshire, and how you can begin to move forward with your own divorce.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in New Hampshire in 2011 was 3.8 for every 1,000 residents. This places New Hampshire's divorce rate somewhere in the middle for divorce rates across the country.
New Hampshire is what is known as a “mixed state”, meaning it allows both no-fault and fault-based divorces. In a no-fault divorce you only need to state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. In a fault-based divorce, you must prove grounds for the divorce acceptable by the state. These grounds may include adultery, alcohol abuse and others.
Most couples prefer a no-fault divorce, as it is usually faster and cheaper than a fault-based divorce.
New Hampshire has a long residency requirement for divorce. You, as the person filing for divorce, must live in the state for at least one year before you can file.
The specific divorce papers you must fill out will vary due to your circumstances – whether you and your spouse have minor children together – and possibly due to the county you file in. Some counties require forms that others do not. You should contact the county court where you will be filing to verify that you are completing all the necessary forms.
If you and your spouse want to file together, you can use a “Joint Petition”. This is the fastest way to file, as you do not need to serve your spouse divorce papers before the court can move forward with the case.
If you are filing on your own, you will need to complete an “Individual Petition”.
The New Hampshire Judicial Branch has a section of its website dedicated to filing for divorce. Here you can learn about divorce in the state, and find a variety of forms for filing. You should read through all the information available to you. The more knowledge you have of the law and the process, the better you can protect yourself throughout the divorce.
If you are unsure of which forms to use or the different documents you need to provide, you are not alone. Many people find the divorce form selection process overwhelming and confusing. For many, it is easier to get their New Hampshire divorce papers online from CompleteCase.com. With our service, you’ll feel confident knowing that you are using the right forms for your situation, and that they are going to be filled out correctly from the start. When you have completed all of your documents, wait to sign them until you are in the presence of a notary. New Hampshire only accepts notarized signatures on things like statements and affidavits.
When you have finished filling out the required New Hampshire divorce papers, you are ready to print them out and file them with the local county clerk. Make two additional copies of the documents, one for your records and one to serve your spouse. Be sure to contact the county clerk to make sure you are bringing everything that you need, including a form of payment accepted by the court. When you have paid your state fee and filed your documents, it is time to serve the papers.
New Hampshire tries to keep the service process – notifying your spouse of the divorce filing – as simple as possible. When you file your individual petition, the clerk will mail your spouse a letter stating that the divorce has been filed. Your spouse can then get a copy of the divorce papers when visiting the court.
If your spouse does not come to the court, the county clerk will notify you and you will need to serve your spouse. You can do this by mail – using registered mail with a return receipt – or by hiring the sheriff. If you hire the sheriff then you will need to pay a fee.
If you mail the papers, make sure to get a return receipt that verifies your spouse has signed for them as you will file this receipt with the county clerk. If you hire the sheriff, he or she will let you know when the papers have been delivered by sending you a statement in the mail. You will then file this statement with the court to complete the filling process.
New Hampshire does not have a waiting period for divorce, so if you and your spouse filed jointly, you can expect it to be finalized quickly If you and your spouse still need to argue your case in front of the court, expect the divorce to take quite a bit longer.