A divorce is considered uncontested when both spouses completely agree on all the terms of the divorce. A divorce is contested when the parties disagree on ANY of the material terms of the divorce. When the spouses agree, a court doesn't have to become involved in making decisions for the parties. This is why uncontested divorces are faster and less expensive than contested divorces.
Uncontested divorces are also popular because, generally, neither party must appear in court at the final hearing. If the parties have children, they must still attend the Child Impact Seminar, before their divorce will be finalized.
Questions about a New Hampshire Uncontested Divorce
How much does your office charge for an uncontested divorce?
We don't offer a flat-fee or fixed rate uncontested divorce. Every case is different and we feel that a one-size-fits-all aproach to divorce is not in the best interest of any client. Contact us and we'll help you understand our fees.
An addition court filing fee of $205-$207 is required to submit your paperwork to a New Hampshire court.
How long does it take for an uncontested divorce to be completed?
An uncontested divorce can be drafted and filed within a few short days. Our office will begin preparing your documents 1-2 days after payment. You can help speed up the process by doing the following:
- Let your spouse know exactly what is happening and that an attorney will be contacting them.
- Have access to a computer with a printer,scanner, and fax machine.
- Be prepared with all the personal information about you and your spouse.
Once the documents are completed they will be filed with the correct New Hampshire court. Each court is under a different workload, and therefore, processing times may vary. Generally, your divorce will be final within 2-8 weeks.
What are the requirements for filing an uncontested divorce in NH?
For a divorce to be considered uncontested, you and your spouse must agree on everything. If you own property, you must agree on exactly how it is to be divided. If you agree to alimony, you must agree on the amount. If you and your spouse don't agree on a particular aspect of your divorce, the court must step in and make the decision for you.
You must also meet the jurisdictional requirements of filing a divorce in New Hampshire. The requirements of NH RSA 458:5 are as follows:
458:5 Over Parties. . Jurisdiction of the parties exists in the following cases only:
I. Where both parties were domiciled in the state when the action was commenced.
II. Where the plaintiff was so domiciled and the defendant was personally served with process within the state.
III. Where the plaintiff was domiciled in the state for one year next preceding the time when the action was commenced.
Where the domiciled plaintiff has filed a petition, the non-domiciled defendant may have affirmative relief upon filing a cross petition.
A person is domiciled in New Hampshire if they have moved to the state with intentions to remain here indefinitely. That is, they don't have plans to move or return to where they came from.
To summarize the statute, you must be able to satisfy at least one of these requirements, I) both parties must live in NH and call NH their home, II) one party lives in NH, calls NH their home, and serves the other party with divorce papers while that party is in the state of NH, III) one party has lived in NH and has called NH their home for at least 1 year.
Do I have to appear in court for an uncontested divorce?
Generally, you are not required to appear in court if your divorce is uncontested. New Hampshire courts allow the parties to agree to waive the final hearing. However, a judge can reject this waiver and require that the parties appear. Often, when children are involved, waiving a final hearing is not possible.
Can your office represent both my spouse an I in a divorce?
No. Do to the rules of professional conduct, our office may only represent one party in a divorce. We cannot give the other party any legal advice what so ever. We generally only speak to the other party in writing so that there is never any confusion as to who we represent.
What if my divorce becomes contested?
It is not uncommon for couples to agree to get divorced, but then fail to agree on all the terms of the divorce. If your divorce becomes contested you may choose to have attorney Ian Reardon represent you for an hourly fee. At any time you may also discontinue representation by our office.