New Hampshire Litigated Divorce
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in the U.S. is 3.6 (per 1,000 residents). In 2011, New Hampshire had a divorce rate of 3.8 which was slightly above the average. One of the most common ways couples divorce is through litigation. In most divorce situations, the couple will disagree about some issues. In these cases, a compromise can usually be reached in a non-adversarial way using collaborative divorce or mediation.
There are, however, circumstances where some aspects of the divorce will be contested by one party. In these cases, it will be difficult to work together in a collaborative divorce or mediation situation. When both parties cannot agree on issues in their divorce, they may choose to have a judge decide for them. During the litigation divorce process, both parties will present their issues in front of a judge who will then issue written findings.
Litigated divorces often involve spouses who are opponents or adversaries. Common issues that are subject to debate during the litigation divorce process include:
- Assets and debts
- Custody of children
- Visitation schedule schedules
- Child support
- Alimony or spousal support
Rather than coming to an agreement that works for both parties, a litigated divorce relies on a judge to make a decision. This is a good way to come to a resolution when none can be found but often leaves one or both parties disappointed.
The New Hampshire Divorce Litigation Process
The process of a litigated divorce is usually longer and more expensive than any other divorce option. The divorce process begins by the filing of a Petition for Divorce. If it is a contested divorce, the other party must be served with the petition and will need to file an answer. Both parties should then hire a divorce litigation attorney to represent them in court. The attorneys will then work to get a picture of the couple's financial situation including assets and debts. If a child is involved, the attorney will also gain information as to who is the primary caregiver.
Often, in litigated divorces, both parties petition for sole or primary custody.This divorce option is also very invasive. In order to get a litigated divorce, both parties will need to obtain financial records, business information and any other relevant documentation. Witnesses and other parties may even be subpoenaed to give depositions for the court. During the litigation process, parties can always come to an agreement on their own and avoid the judge's ruling. In fact, most litigated divorces end up settling out of court.
Call a NH Divorce Attorney
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in New Hampshire and would like to know more about your options, contact Russman Law right away. It is important to hire a divorce attorney who understands your needs. Whether you were pursuing litigation or hoping to come to an agreement through a non-adversarial process such as collaborative divorce, our office can help you. Call us today to get started.