How to Start the Divorce Process: 3 Options

Written by LRS Attorney Panelist, Katherine Morneau.

Divorce ScrabbleWe often get asked how to start the divorce process and there are three ways in New Hampshire.  An experienced attorney will be able to evaluate which one is best for you.

Option One: Collaborative Law

The collaborative process is a comprehensive approach to the divorce process.  It allows you to work with your spouse to come up with a mutually beneficial plan to dissolve the relationship.  With the assistance of a Financial Neutral and Coach you will have a full team of professionals to help each step of the way.  This process is confidential and avoids the need to go to Court.  At the end of the day, you will have a full agreement that addresses how you will each spend time with the children and secure your financial future.

Option Two:  Mediation

Mediation is recommended by Judges and many times required before you are allowed a Hearing.  In mediation you can go with or without an attorney to sit down with a neutral mediator to resolve each piece of your case.  The Court can appoint a mediator for you and your spouse or you can privately hire one.  We know some really great mediators and would be happy to recommend one that would be a good fit for you.  This process can also avoid appearing in Court.

Option Three:  Litigation

Litigation is often a last choice if either of the two options above are not successful.  The process starts by filing a Petition for Divorce with the Court.  There will be certain financial documents that you will have to exchange with each other.  This could be a lengthy process and guidance of an experienced attorney is essential to protecting your rights.

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Attorney Katherine Morneau is just one of the many talented and experienced attorneys you could be referred to through the Lawyer Referral Service of the New Hampshire Bar Association. Call us at 603-229-0002 or request a referral online.  We are here to help!

Photo credit – Cordell and Cordell, Flickr Creative Commons

 

Self-Help Center for Family Court

The NH Judicial Branch Self Help Center provides basic, practical information about the New Hampshire court system, how it works, and what the procedures are for bringing a case to court.   Find links to forms, fees, court rules, alternatives to court and many other links to useful information for anyone representing themselves in Family Court.  For more information go to:  http://www.courts.state.nh.us/selfhelp/index.htm

The Lawyer Referral Service can refer you to an attorney who may assist you with representing yourself through “unbundled legal services”, enabling you to hire an attorney to  handle just a portion of your case for a fraction of the cost of full representation.    For more information call 603-229-0002 or fill out the online request form.