Portsmouth NH Divorce Attorney | T.W. Stevens Law Firm

Portsmouth NH Divorce: Procedural Steps to Obtaining a NH Divorce

by Todd W. Stevens, Esquire

While most Portsmouth NH divorce lawyers or Portsmouth NH divorce attorneys know the steps to obtain a divorce in Portsmouth NH, the average person does not.  A common question for a party after filing a NH Petition for Divorce at the Portsmouth Family Division is –  what happens next?  Generally speaking, the steps are summarized below.

First Appearance or Structuring Conference in the Portsmouth Family Division

“What happens after the filing of a NH Divorce Petition with the Portsmouth Family Division?”

In Portsmouth NH divorce cases involving children, the Portsmouth Family Division schedules a First Appearance that the parties are required to attend.  At the First Appearance, the NH Family Division Judge explains the divorce process, including the requirement that both parties attend a Child Impact Seminar.  The NH Family Division Judge encourages the parties to try to amicably agree to a NH Divorce Decree, NH Parenting Plan and NH Uniform Support Order.  To this end, the Portsmouth Family Division asks both parties if they want to mediate their Portsmouth NH divorce case, or instead schedule a temporary hearing.  The Court also reinforces that the parties must exchange important documents under Rule 1.25-A.

Temporary Divorce Hearing in the Portsmouth Family Division

Portsmouth NH divorce lawyers or Portsmouth NH divorce attorneys routinely participate in temporary hearings in NH divorce cases.  Consequently, they know how important temporary divorce hearings are in any Portsmouth NH divorce.  A NH temporary hearing is usually scheduled for thirty minutes by the Portsmouth NH Family Division.  The purpose of the temporary hearing is for the Judge to gather information from the parties so that she can issue orders governing all aspects of the parties’ lives during the pendency of the Portsmouth NH divorce case.  The court typically spends a lot of time on the parenting aspects of the case.  After the NH temporary hearing, the Portsmouth Family Division issues a NH Temporary Decree, NH Temporary Parenting Plan and NH Uniform Support Order.

Final Divorce Hearing in the Portsmouth Family Division

Portsmouth NH divorce lawyers or Portsmouth NH divorce attorneys usually spend considerable time preparing for a final hearing in a NH divorce case.  The length of a final hearing in the Portsmouth Family Division is determined by the judge after taking into consideration the complexity of the issues.  At the final hearing, the judge gathers information from the parties in order to draft permanent orders – NH Final Decree of Divorce, NH Final Parenting Plan, NH Final Uniform Support Order.

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The T.W. Stevens Law Firm has offices in Portsmouth NH and Dover NH.  Contact us, or read our client testimonials, and learn why many of our Portsmouth NH clients consider us to be the best Portsmouth NH divorce lawyers for them.


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 Law Blog


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T.W. Stevens Law Firm, pllc
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Dover, NH 03820

Ph: (603) 749-6400
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T.W. Stevens Law Firm, PLLC
101 Market Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

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

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