Divorce, Parenting & Other Family Matters


Divorce is a difficult experience; no one gets married envisioning divorce. But sometimes, it becomes necessary, or is thrust upon you. In either situation, it is important to have experienced and effective representation, by an attorney with whom you feel confident and comfortable. There are different approaches to divorce. It can be a long standing, expensive, and tumultuous process. It can occur by signing documents without getting the advice or representation needed. In between these ends, is a dignified, professional way to divorce, while protecting your rights and interests. We are committed to proceeding in a straight forward and professional manner, treating you fairly and courteously.
In addition to the emotional impact, divorce has a financial impact. The assets will be divided, incomes will now be needed for two homes, and legal costs. We will work with you toward a fair and equitable resolution, and strive to have the costs of your divorce be reasonable. Divorce is not easy, but it is our sincere desire to work with you under unfortunate circumstances, for the best possible results.
You can proceed through the Court system in the traditional manner. This begins with initial procedural documents being filed with the Court, Petition for Divorce, with notice to your spouse, and a court meeting (first appearance) or general hearing (status conference) scheduled. Your spouse will then decide to retain an attorney, represent him or herself, or not respond. Thereafter, likely, mediation will be scheduled. If you have children, you will be required to attend a Child Impact Seminar (four hour class on the impact of divorce or living apart on children.)
The second part of the proceeding involves addressing all of the issues that pertain to you. The State of NH has established a format to be used, entitled a Final Decree.
You can also proceed in a cooperative manner. This may include filing jointly for divorce, and working toward an agreement through proposals, meetings, and negotiations, to reach a Final Decree to be submitted to the Court for approval. This can be done informally or formerly through Collaborative Law. (For more information on collaborative law, please visit the Collaborative Law Alliance of NH website)

Frequently asked questions:

How long does it take to get a divorce? About six months, but as little as thirty days, to over a year.

Only one lawyer was used? No, this is not allowed in NH. What often happens is one attorney represents one spouse preparing and proposing the documents. The other spouse chooses to represent him or herself Pro Se, and is responsible for his or her own decisions. Sometimes, the other spouse consults with an attorney on a limited, and thus less expensive basis, called unbundled representation or service.

What if s/he will not agree to a divorce? You will obtain a divorce with or without their involvement, upon proper actions through the Court.


If you have children, you will need to address the child related issues. If you are not married, but have children together, you will proceed similarly as above, but only regarding child related issues.
For most families, you will have contact with the other parent for many years, until age eighteen, and thereafter. Though your adult relationship has ended, your children will benefit tremendously from your ability to continue to parent them together, though living separate lives.
Parenting Rights and Responsibilities need to be determined. These include Decision Making (formerly called legal custody), Residential Responsibility (formerly called physical custody), and Parenting Time (formerly called visitation). A Parenting Plan, which includes the schedule for the children, as well as a Uniform Support Order, addressing child support and health insurance, will be required.
These documents must be filed with the Court, and approved as a Court Order to be valid. Any subsequent changes also need to be written and filed with the Court for approval to be valid and enforceable.

Other Family Matters

We can assist you with other family matters including: Legal Separation; Alimony; Post divorce issues, such as parenting disputes and schedule changes; Relocation; Child support; Guardianships; Grandparent visitation; Abuse and neglect; Children in need of services (CHINS), and Juvenile delinquency cases.