Divorce Lawyers in Portsmouth and Dover New Hampshire: Jurisdiction

by Todd W. Stevens, Esquire

Todd StevensNH Divorce Jurisdiction: Introduction

NH divorce attorneys and New Hampshire divorce lawyers analyze jurisdictional issues relating to New Hampshire divorces everyday.  Why?  Because the New Hampshire family division court must have jurisdiction in order for you to file your NH Divorce Petition.  A New Hampshire family division court’s jurisdiction is based upon a NH statute, RSA 458:4,  located here.

“The statute requires the New Hampshire family division court to have jurisdiction over the parties and the cause of action in New Hampshire divorce cases.”

The statute requires the New Hampshire family division court to have jurisdiction over the parties and the cause of action in New Hampshire divorce cases.

NH Divorce:  Jurisdiction Over the Parties

In order for the New Hampshire family division court to hear your NH divorce case, it must have jurisdiction over the parties – the spouses in the marriage. Jurisdiction over the parties in a NH divorce occurs in three factual situations  First, the New Hampshire family division court has jurisdiction where both spouses lived in New Hampshire when the NH Divorce Petition was filed.  Second, the court also has jurisdiction over the parties where the spouse who filed the NH Divorce Petition lived in New Hampshire and the other spouse was personally served with the NH Divorce Petition within the state.  Third, jurisdiction is also proper where the spouse filing the NH Divorce Petition lived in New Hampshire for one year prior to filing.

NH Divorce:  Jurisdiction Over the Cause of Action

The New Hampshire family division court must also have jurisdiction over the cause of action in order for the parties to proceed with a NH divorce.  A cause of action is just that – the reason why one spouse decided to seek a divorce.  Most commonly, the cause of action is irreconcilable differences arose between the parties which lead to the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.  However, the cause of action could also be fault-based – adultery, habitual drunkenness, treatment so as to endanger health or injure reason, extreme cruelty, etc.  The cause of action must have wholly arisen or accrued while the person filing the NH Divorce Petition lived in New Hampshire.

NH Divorce Jurisdiction:  Conclusion 

A person seeking to file a NH Divorce Petition in New Hampshire must make sure the NH family division court has jurisdiction to hear the case.  In order to have jurisdiction to hear the case, the New Hampshire family division court must have jurisdiction over the parties and jurisdiction over the cause of action. However, there are other circumstances that would allow the court to exercise jurisdiction which are beyond the scope of this blog post. The best way to be sure if the NH family division court has jurisdiction in your case is to contact an experienced New Hampshire divorce attorney or aggressive NH divorce lawyer.

Contact the T.W. Stevens Law Firm in Dover, NH and Portsmouth, NH If You Need Help Figuring Out Jurisdiction in Your NH Divorce Case

 

 

Todd W. Stevens, Esquire

Attorney Todd W. Stevens is an experienced New Hampshire attorney with a state-wide practice in personal injury, family law and business law. Attorney Stevens regularly litigates cases in New Hampshire courts and is a sought-after advocate in complex cases. Attorney Stevens maintains a limited caseload and carefully selects his clients.

Posted in Family Law, Law Blog

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Dover Office

T.W. Stevens Law Firm, pllc
340 Central Avenue, Suite 203
Dover, NH 03820

Ph: (603) 749-6400
Fax: (603) 749-6401

Portsmouth Office

T.W. Stevens Law Firm, PLLC
101 Market Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Phone: (603) 749-6400
Fax: (603) 749-6401

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