As New Hampshire parents get ready to live separate lives after a separation or divorce, they will need to file for custody. Understanding the criteria and the steps necessary to file a parenting petition will help them complete the process correctly and efficiently.
Criteria for filing a parenting petition
There are certain criteria that must be met so that the state of New Hampshire can have jurisdiction over child custody issues. While the child’s physical presence in the state is not a necessary requirement for jurisdiction, it can be helpful. These criteria include:
- Living in the state is considered in the best interests of the child due to the child and at least one parent’s ties to the state concerning the child’s care, future, educational and other issues
- New Hampshire is the home state for the child when the petition is started or within 6 months before and the child is out of state because another person is claiming custody of the child in another state
- The child is physically present in the state but having been abandoned there or the presence of some situation that calls for emergency action to protect the child’s safety
- No other state being able to claim jurisdiction over the child’s custody
Steps to file a parenting petition
Once the parent or parents are ready to file a petition, they need to file with the court. If the parents agree to file jointly, the process will be more cost-effective. If they do not, the filing parent must notify the other parent of the action through legal means.
The parents will then attend a First Appearance Session where the particulars of the process will be explained to the parents and where the next session will be scheduled. To complete the process, the parents will need to file a variety of documents, including financial affidavits, the parenting plan and the decree of parenting petition.