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New Hampshire Family Law Blog

If you're a dad, do you have to move out before divorce is final?

When you got married, you took your role as husband and (down the line) as father quite seriously. You wanted to do your part to create a happy, healthy marriage and home life. Like most New Hampshire spouses, you expected your marriage to last a lifetime. When your spouse filed a petition to divorce, you were shocked and saddened. You wondered how you would tell your kids and how the news might negatively affect their lives.

Many fathers have been caught off guard in similar situations. If you believe that your spouse is going to give you a hard time in court, it's critical that you know your rights and how to protect them. The court often awards shared custody or even sole custody to fathers nowadays. Knowing what to expect in court and where to seek support if a particular legal problem arises is key to accomplishing your divorce-related goals.

A hostile relationship with your ex can complicate co-parenting

There was a time in history when children were little more than property. When parents divorced, the children stayed with the father since the law forbid women from owning property. Thankfully, those laws are far behind us, and children now receive the consideration and protection they deserve during the divorce process.

While it is still common for some courts to assume the children are better off with their mothers, with fathers receiving limited visitation, most family courts in New Hampshire attempt to reach as fair and equitable a custody plan as possible. However, this may provide little comfort if you and your ex cannot stand each other.

Non-custodial parents still have rights

As a parent, one of your main concerns is how you can protect your right to have a strong relationship with your children after divorce. Perhaps you and your spouse are unable to reach a beneficial resolution on custody and visitation on your own, leaving you with little option but to take your case to a New Hampshire family court. The final order may grant the other parent primary custody, and you may be confused as to where that leaves you.

Even if you are not the primary custodian of your kids, you still have certain rights. You will also have certain obligations to meet as well. It is in your interests to understand these things completely, as failure to adhere to the custody order, even by accident, can result in complications. Being a non-custodial parent does not make you a bad parent or less important than the other parent. 

Why are more families choosing parallel parenting?

Making choices that pertain to your children is one of the hardest aspects of divorce. This is an incredibly difficult process to navigate, especially when it is difficult to work with your spouse regarding a beneficial child custody arrangement. Many people are now opting for a joint custody arrangement, but will this actually work in your situation? 

Co-parenting is a popular choice for custody. This type of arrangement requires that the two parents work together to jointly raise their children. If you opt for co-parenting, you will have to work closely with your ex-spouse, and both parties will have to be willing to work together until the children grow up. In situations when parents do not get along well, this simply may not work. If you don't think co-parenting is right for you, it is possible that parallel parenting could work

Are you interested in the benefits of collaborative divorce?

Though you likely believe that ending your marriage is for the best, you may still have creeping feelings that the process will be awful. After all, you may know someone who went through a difficult divorce who saw conflict after conflict throughout the entire process. However, it is important to remember that each case is different, and the way in which you approach your case could make a considerable difference in how smoothly it goes.

Deciding beforehand that you will do your part to help your proceedings along may be a good starting point. It may also be wise to remember that there are other marriage dissolution options aside from courtroom litigation. In fact, a method like collaborative divorce may better suit your circumstances.

You can make the child custody process easier on your kids

It's a pretty universal concept that one of the primary concerns of most parents going through a divorce is how it affects their kids. Despite the emotional turmoil going on around them, you don't want it to touch them, even though you know that it will since change is inevitable.

You may feel as though you can do nothing to lessen their stress, anxiety and frustration, and the reality is that you may not be able to eliminate their fears, confusion and concerns. Even so, how you handle the coming days, weeks and perhaps months will make a difference in getting them, and you, through this process.

What can you do when mediation is not working?

Family law disputes are complex matters that can be stressful and difficult to resolve. The implications for these issues are significant – they can impact your family for years to come. You understand why it's important to reach a beneficial resolution to these types of issues, and for this reason, you may prefer to opt for mediation rather than litigation. 

Mediation allows two opposing parties to resolve their disputes in a respectful, calm environment. With the help of a neutral third-party, you and your spouse can work through issues related to child custody, visitation, property division, financial support and more. This is a beneficial option because it saves time, money and stress – but it doesn't work in every situation. Some New Hampshire couples find that mediation does not actually work for them.

Cut off potential co-parenting arguments before they happen

As you go through your divorce, you may realize that you will still have a significant amount of contact with your future former spouse because you have children together. Despite how you feel about each other, you agree that you need to find a way forward in order to co-parent.

As part of that endeavor, you may sit down to begin negotiating a parenting plan. You may understand right away that this will be the guidebook for your co-parenting relationship. Once you come to this conclusion, you may want to include provisions that will help you avoid unnecessary conflicts that will only damage that relationship and possibly cause your children stress and sadness.

Fight back against parenting time interference

After divorce, New Hampshire parents will want to work to protect their relationship with their children. If you are divorced, you may have concerns about how the end of your marriage will affect your children long-term. One of the most important things you can do for your children is to allow them to maintain a strong relationship with both parents. 

You understand it is in the interests of the kids if they can have time with both parents, but the other parent may not see it that way. Lingering hard feelings and disagreements can lead to difficulties between two people who have to share custody. Eventually, this can lead to something called parenting time interference. This is any effort from one parent to interfere with the parental rights of the other.

What's going to happen to your family home when you divorce?

Are you facing the prospect of divorce? If you are, you probably have many questions regarding what this process will mean for your future and your financial interests. One important concern you may have is where you will live. Who or what determines what happens to your New Hampshire family home?

The family home is likely the most valuable asset you and your spouse will have to address in a divorce. What happens to it matters, and you would be wise to consider your future financial stability as you take your concerns to court or negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the other party. When considering options, it is helpful to remove temporary emotions from the equation and think about what will be best long term.