What to expect in a New Hampshire court when litigating custody

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2018 | Child Custody |

As one of many New Hampshire parents who have already filed for divorce this year, you may currently have a few concerns regarding what actual proceedings will be like in court. If you had hoped to avoid a courtroom altogether but soon determined that would not be possible, you may be wondering what to expect in litigation and how best to prepare yourself. As a good parent, you undoubtedly want what is best for your children. In this state, the court generally believes this includes a shared parenting arrangement.

Understanding the court’s perspective before heading to proceedings may help you keep stress levels to a minimum as you navigate the system. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with various legal terms regarding child custody and other issues that New Hampshire uses, which may vary in other states. In short, if you know your rights ahead of time and arm yourself with as much information and support as possible, you stand a good chance of achieving a fair and agreeable settlement.

Terms referring to child custody

The family law system in New Hampshire believes it’s best to use terms that infer person or family as opposed to more traditional legal terms that may make it seem as though children are property assets to be divided between parents. The following information explains various terms this state uses when referring to custody matters:

  • Instead of referring to child custody, you may hear the term parenting arrangement instead.
  • If you are litigating a specific custody issue, the court in this state will refer to that as a parenting action.
  • If you hear officials discussing parental responsibility in court, it is likely they are using the term to refer to child custody. There is a difference between physical and legal custody, so it’s crucial you understand both before agreeing to any particular arrangement.
  • Parenting time is a phrase used in reference to child visitation in New Hampshire.

As mentioned earlier, New Hampshire courts typically lean toward shared legal custody and shared physical custody as the optimum choice for most families. If you have cause to believe such an arrangement would somehow be detrimental to your children, you can immediately bring your concerns to the court’s attention.

How to do that

It’s usually a lot less stressful to enlist the help of someone who knows the ins and outs of the family law system in New Hampshire rather than try to go it alone in court. Many parents turn to family law attorneys to advocate on their behalves. This is often the best means of protecting your rights and making sure your children’s best interests remain the central focus of your divorce proceedings.