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FAMILY DIVISION RULES


GENERAL

    
    1. Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction over the following matters in Rockingham and Grafton Counties shall be exercised exclusively in the family division beginning July 1, 1996:

        A. Petitions for divorce, legal separation, nullity of marriage, alimony, custody of children, support, and to establish paternity;

        B. Actions for support or custody for children of unwed parties;

        C. Actions under RSA 169-B relating to delinquent children, RSA 169-C relating to abused and neglected children, and RSA 169-D relating to children in need of services;

        D. Actions under RSA 173-B relating to protection of persons from domestic violence except for concurrent jurisdiction with the superior and district courts to enter temporary protective orders under RSA 173-B:6;

        E. The adoption of children;

        F. The guardianships over the persons of minors;

        G. The termination of parental rights;

        H. The change of names of persons who apply therefor in matters relating to jurisdiction in paragraphs A through G above.

    2. Venue:

        A. Grafton County: Matters arising in the municipalities of Haverhill, Bath, Landaff, Benton, Piermont, and Warren (Haverhill district) shall be heard in the Grafton County Courthouse. Matters arising in the municipalities of Plymouth, Bristol, Dorchester, Groton, Wentworth, Rumney, Ellsworth, Thornton, Campton, Ashland, Hebron, Holderness, Bridgewater, Alexandria, Lincoln, Woodstock, and those portions of the towns of Livermore and Waterville not within the watershed of the Saco River and its tributaries (Plymouth district) shall be heard in the Plymouth District Courthouse. Matters arising in the municipalities of Littleton, Monroe, Lyman, Lisbon, Franconia, Bethlehem, Sugar Hill, and Easton (Littleton district) shall be heard in the Littleton District Courthouse. Matters arising in the municipalities of Hanover, Orford, Lyme, Lebanon, Enfield, Canaan, Grafton, and Orange (Hanover/Lebanon district) shall be heard in the Lebanon District Courthouse.

        B. Rockingham County: Matters arising in municipalities of Portsmouth, Newington, Greenland, Rye, and New Castle (Portsmouth district) and the municipalities of Hampton, Hampton Falls, North Hampton, South Hampton, and Seabrook (Hampton district) shall be heard in the Portsmouth District Courthouse. Matters arising in the municipalities of Salem, Windham, and Pelham (Salem district) shall be heard in the Salem District Courthouse. Matters arising in municipalities of Auburn, Candia. Deerfield, Northwood, Nottingham and Raymond (Auburn district) and in the municipalities of Derry, Londonderry, Chester, and Sandown (Derry district) shall be heard in the Auburn District Courthouse. Matters arising in the municipalities of Exeter, Newmarket, Stratham, Newfields, Fremont, East Kingston, Kensington, Epping, and Brentwood (Exeter district) and the municipalities of Plaistow, Hampstead, Kingston, Newton, Atkinson, and Danville (Plaistow district) shall be heard in the Rockingham County Courthouse.

    3. Effective Date:

        A.  All new cases filed on or after July 1, 1996 and any requests for modification or further action thereon involving matters over which the family division has jurisdiction, shall be filed in the appropriate family division location.

  
     B.  Effective September 15, 2004, any request for modification or further action in a case filed prior to July 1, 1996 in the Rockingham County Superior Court involving matters over which the family division has jurisdiction, shall be filed in the Brentwood Family Division.

  
     C.  Effective September 15, 2004, any request for modification or further action in a case filed prior to July 1, 1996 in the Grafton County Superior Court involving matters over which the family division has jurisdiction, shall be filed in the Haverhill Family Division.

    4. Transfer:

        A. A case existing prior to July 1, 1996, may be consolidated with a case filed in the family division on or after July 1, 1996, upon motion by any party or by independent action of the court of origin or the family division. A party wishing to transfer such a case shall file a motion to transfer with the appropriate family division location, with a copy to the court of origin. A transfer of the case will take place only upon mutual agreement of both courts.

        B. Any case filed in the family division involving the same family as any other case filed in the family division may be transferred to a single family division location, upon motion by any party, or upon independent action of the family division. A party wishing to transfer such a case shall file a motion to transfer with the proposed family division location, with a copy to the original family division location. A transfer of the case will take place only upon mutual agreement of both family division locations.

    5. Multiple Filings:

        A. In the event two petitions for divorce are filed involving the same two parties but in different family division locations, the family division shall transfer both cases to one family division location or the other, in its discretion, considering the second case filed to be a cross-petition for divorce in the same action.

        B. In the event two petitions for divorce are filed involving the same two parties, one in a family division location and one in a superior court, the second case filed shall be transferred to the superior court or family division location where the first case was filed. Upon motion of either party or upon independent action of the family division, however, a family division judge or master may, upon consultation with the lower court, retain the cases in the location where the second petition was filed.

    6. Recommendations/Ex Parte Orders: Recommendations of marital masters serving in the family division may be approved by facsimile transmission or by telephone. Recommendations of marital masters serving in the family division may be approved by any judge of the State, regardless of whether they are specially designated as family division judges for the pilot program. Any judge may issue emergency orders for family division cases in person, by telephone, or by facsimile transmission. All such orders shall be transmitted to the appropriate family division location upon execution. (Supreme Court Administrative Order 96-004.)

    7. Miscellaneous:

        
A.  Equity rules of the superior court not inconsistent herewith are adopted by the family division and are incorporated herein by reference. If any superior court equity rules conflict with the specific rules of the family divisions, the rules of the family division shall govern.

       B.  To the extent not already incorporated herein by reference above, Superior Court Rules 14(d), 15(e), 15(f), and 21 are specifically incorporated herein by reference.

    8. Motions: Parties may not address written communications directly to the judge/master. All requests shall be by properly filed motion with certification of delivery of a copy of the motion to the other party, unless jointly filed. No exhibits shall be attached to motions unless necessary to support an affidavit.

        A no contact order in a domestic violence, stalking, or similar matter shall not be deemed to prevent either party from filing appearances, motions, and other appropriate pleadings, through the Court.  At the request of the party filing the pleading, the Court shall forward a copy of the pleading to the party or counsel on the other side of the case.  Furthermore, the no contact provisions shall not be deemed to prevent contact between counsel, when both parties are represented.

    9. Motion Concurrence: Any party filing a motion shall certify to the court that a good faith attempt has been made to obtain concurrence in the relief sought, except in the case of dispositive motions, motions for contempt or sanctions, or comparable motions where it can be reasonably assumed that the party or counsel will be unable to obtain concurrence.

    10. Recusal: All grounds for recusal that are known or should reasonably be known prior to trial or hearing shall be incorporated in a written motion for recusal and filed promptly with the court. Grounds for recusal that first become apparent at the time of or during the hearing shall be immediately brought to the attention of the judge. Failure to raise a ground for recusal shall constitute a waiver as specified herein of the right to request recusal on such ground. If a record of the proceedings is not available, the trial judge shall make a record of the request, the court's findings, and its order.

    11.  Referees:  Referees appointed by the superior court may be assigned to the judicial branch family division by agreement of the Chief Justice of the Superior Court and the Administrative Judge of the Judicial Branch Family Division.  Thereafter, the referee shall be assigned to such matters as the Judicial Branch Family Division Administrative Judge shall direct.  Referees assigned under this rule shall have the same authority as those appointed to the superior court pursuant to RSA 519.

    12.  Untimely-filed Guardian Ad Litem Reports: 

        A.  A guardian ad litem who, without good cause, fails to file a report required by any court or statute by the date the report is due may be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than the amount of costs and attorneys fees incurred by the parties to the action for the day of the hearing.  The guardian ad litem shall not be subject to the fine under this rule if, at least ten days prior to the date the report is due, he or she files a motion requesting an extension of time to file the report. 

        B.  The court clerk shall report a guardian ad litem who, without good cause, fails to file a report by the date the report is due to the guardian ad litem board.  The court clerk shall make such report available to the public.

    13.  Access To Confidential Records – Fees And Notice:  Any person or entity not otherwise entitled to access may file a motion or petition to gain access to: (1) a financial affidavit filed pursuant to Family Division (Domestic Relations) Rule 13 and kept confidential under RSA 458:15-b, I, or (2) any other sealed or confidential court record.  See Petition of Keene Sentinel, 136 N.H. 121 (1992).

         
Filing Fee:
  There shall be no filing fee for such a motion or petition.

         
Notice:
  In open cases, the person filing such a motion shall provide the parties to the proceeding with notice of the motion by first class mail to the last mail addresses on file with the clerk.

   
   In closed cases, the court shall order that the petitioner notify the parties of the petition to grant access by certified mail to the last known address of each party, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, signed by the addressee only, unless the court expressly determines that another method of service is necessary in the circumstances.

 

DOMESTIC RELATIONS


    1. Petition for Divorce: Actions for divorce in the family division shall be commenced by the filing of a "Petition for Divorce," which shall be entitled "In the matter of John Petitioner and Mary Petitioner, Petition for Divorce." Petitions for divorce may be either joint petitions or individual petitions, as described below. All petitions for divorce shall contain the names, dates of birth, social security numbers, residence and mailing addresses, home and work telephone numbers of the parties, place and date of marriage, length of time petitioner(s) has (have) been a resident of the State of New Hampshire, names and dates of birth of all children born to or adopted by the petitioner(s), statement as to any conceived but unborn children of the parties, statement as to real estate and/or personal property owned by either or both parties, additional facts determined appropriate by a party, and the grounds for divorce. Petitions for divorce shall be signed by the petitioner(s) and acknowledged. A party not wishing to disclose his or her residence or home or work telephone number(s) to the other party may be granted for good cause shown. Any petition for divorce, whether jointly or individually filed, may contain a request for a temporary hearing, specifically identifying the issues which need to be addressed at the temporary hearing.

    2. Joint Petition: An original joint petition for divorce shall be filed by the parties together with the filing fee. The joint petition shall be filed at the appropriate family division location without further service or notice.

    3. Individual Petition: An original individual petition for divorce shall be filed with the appropriate family division location, together with the filing fee, by the petitioner. Service of an individual petition for divorce may be accepted by the spouse or the attorney for the spouse, or made by a sheriff. Upon receipt of an individual petition for divorce, the court shall attach to the petition a notice to spouse (formerly orders of notice) and an appearance form. The court shall then forward a correspondence to the spouse indicating that the petition has been filed and that the spouse or the spouse's attorney may accept service of the petition at the court within ten days. A spouse's attorney may request and accept service by mail provided the attorney files a receipt of service signed by the spouse within five business days of receipt of the petition by the attorney.

    If neither the spouse nor the attorney for the spouse accepts service of the petition at the court within ten days as specified in the correspondence, the petition shall be forwarded to the petitioner for service by the sheriff, or deputy, if it is within the State of New Hampshire, or by an officer authorized to serve similar process outside the State of New Hampshire. Service outside the State of New Hampshire is to be evidenced by a return of the officer under oath, accompanied by an official certificate of the officer's official character and authority. Service shall be made in hand or by leaving an attested copy of the petition, notice to spouse, and appearance at the spouse's abode, within fifteen days of the date of the notice to spouse, and the return of service shall state the street and number, or some other description, of the abode.

    4. Address Unknown: When the residence of the spouse is not known, the petition shall state the spouse's last known post office address, and the name and post office address of some near relative of the spouse, if any is known to the petitioner, and otherwise the name and post office address of some friend of the spouse, such facts to be verified by the petitioner's personal affidavit filed with the petition. The petitioner/attorney shall file the petition with the court together with the name and address of a newspaper published at or near the spouse's last known address. Service shall then be ordered by publication in a newspaper published at or nearest the spouse's last known place of residence in the State of New Hampshire, with publication to be completed not less than fifteen days before the return date, and by certified mail to the relative or friend of the spouse, or otherwise as the court may order. Publication may be waived for good cause upon motion to the court.

    5. Adultery: All petitions and cross-petitions for divorce or legal separation alleging adultery shall contain the name and address of the person with whom the party is accused of adultery, if known, and if not, a statement to that effect. The petition shall be served upon the person with whom the party is accused of adultery unless excused by statute. Any fact relied upon under the statutes to excuse service upon such third person shall be stated in the petition.

    6. Filing Individual Petitions: An individual petition for divorce shall be considered properly filed when the court is in receipt of (a) a receipt of service signed by the spouse, or (b) a receipt of service signed by the attorney for the spouse, or (c) a sheriff's return of service. No hearing(s) shall be conducted until proper filing has been completed, except for emergency orders as noted in these rules. Acceptance of service by the spouse shall be allowed. Upon filing of the joint petition, or after completion of service of an individual petition, the court shall forward to the parties the child impact seminar notice, the ADR notice, financial affidavits, pro se information sheets, and the vital statistics report.

    7. Appearance/Response:

        A. If the spouse wishes to participate in the divorce process, the spouse shall file an appearance by the return date specified in the notice.

        B. If the spouse chooses to file a response, it shall be filed within thirty days after the return date.

        C. If the spouse requires immediate relief, the spouse shall file a request for a temporary hearing, specifying what issues need to be addressed at the temporary hearing.

    8. Cross-Petitions: A cross-petition for divorce contained in a response need not be served in hand or by sheriff, but shall contain a certificate that the spouse has delivered a copy of the cross-petition to the other party by pre-paid mail.

    9. Dismissal: The court may dismiss a petition for divorce without prejudice to other proceedings for the same cause due to insufficiency of allegations or of service. The order of dismissal shall state the reason for the dismissal.

    10. Emergency Hearings: Subject to the provisions of RSA 458:16, an emergency order may be granted without written or oral notice to the other party or his/her attorney only if it clearly appears to the court from specific facts shown by sworn statement or by the verified petition that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage shall result to the applicant, the children, or the marital estate before the other party or his or her attorney can be heard. An emergency order may be requested by motion of the petitioner/attorney prior to service of the petition.

    11. Temporary Hearing:

        A. If a temporary hearing has been requested by either party, the court shall schedule the matter for a temporary hearing, notice of which hearing shall indicate the amount of time allocated by the court for the hearing.

        B. If a temporary hearing is scheduled, a scheduling conference shall also be held at the same date and time. In the event a temporary agreement is reached, the parties must still appear for the scheduling conference. The scheduling conference may be continued for a period not to exceed thirty days upon motion to the court.

        C. Temporary hearings shall be conducted by offers of proof from each party. Upon motion filed prior to the offer of proof temporary hearing, a further temporary hearing may be scheduled. Motions for extended or evidentiary temporary hearings shall be heard at the time specified in the notice of hearing for offers of proof.

    12. Notice of Hearing:

        A. Upon expiration of the response time, the court shall issue an appropriate notice of hearing.

        B. A default hearing shall be scheduled if the court has not received an appearance or response from the spouse and the petitioner has filed a military affidavit, vital statistics report, non-cohabitation affidavit, affidavit of impossibility, uniform support order and child support guideline worksheet if child support is to be ordered, proposed decree and financial affidavit with information current to within thirty days of the notice of hearing, together with a certificate that copies of each of the foregoing items have been forwarded to the spouse.

        C. An uncontested hearing shall be scheduled if (1) either a joint petition was filed or an individual petition was filed and the spouse has filed an appearance, and (2) if the petitioner/parties has/have filed a uniform support order and child support guideline worksheet if child support is to be ordered, vital statistics report, permanent stipulation and financial affidavits of both parties current to within thirty days of the notice of hearing, and non-cohabitation affidavit.

        D. A scheduling conference shall be scheduled if the spouse has filed an appearance and the matter has not been settled. At the scheduling conference, the court shall (1) appoint a guardian ad litem for the child(ren) if necessary, (2) refer the parties to ADR if appropriate, (3) issue discovery schedule, and (4) determine the future schedule of the case including the dates for pre-trial hearing and possibly final hearing. Counsel and parties must be prepared at the scheduling conference to set specific dates for each event. The court shall issue a scheduling conference order after the scheduling conference. Dates established shall not be extended except in extraordinary circumstances.

    13. Financial Affidavits:

        A. In all cases in which support and/or division of property (temporary, permanent, or otherwise) and/or payment of the guardian ad litem are in any way involved, each party shall file with the court and with the other party a typewritten or legibly handwritten financial affidavit which contains the information in the family division financial affidavit.

        B. Current financial affidavits shall be provided to the court by each party not fewer than seven days prior to the scheduling conference. Each party shall indicate all sources and amounts of income and expenses, and shall disclose the identification and value of each asset of the party, whether owned individually, jointly, or in any other form. If the exact value of an asset is not known, the party shall disclose its identification and approximate value, indicating that the value is an estimate only. The parties shall be under a continuing order to make full and complete disclosure to each other of the identification and value of all assets of the parties, and any changes to the identification or value of the assets during the pendency of the case. Intentional failure to disclose any asset at the time of the scheduling conference, or at any time thereafter when an asset is discovered, shall be considered a violation of this rule subject to appropriate action by the court, including the award of that asset to the other party.

        C. No stipulation shall be approved without the financial affidavit of each party being filed, or an affidavit of impossibility. In the case of any contested final hearing, the financial affidavits of the parties shall be delivered to the other party and the court so as to be received by the other party and the court at least seven days prior to the pre-trial conference. Otherwise the court may conduct the hearing without regard to the affidavit of the party failing to comply with this rule.

    14. Child Support:

    In all cases involving dependent children and in which child support may be ordered:

        A. The petitioner/attorney shall file a child support guideline worksheet and a uniform support order.

        B. In the case of an uncontested hearing, the entire uniform support order is to be completed by the parties.

        C. In the case of a contested hearing, the petitioner/attorney is to complete the top portion of the uniform support order only.

        D. In cases involving child support where the obligor has failed to file a financial affidavit or otherwise disclose his/her income, the obligee should make a reasonable estimate of the obligor's income, use that amount in calculating support on the child support guideline worksheet, and include a statement to that effect in the proposed decree.

        E. Stipulations or proposed decrees must state whether the child support award is in accordance with the child support guidelines and, if not, explain the deviation.

        F. Superior Court Administrative Order #23, relating to uniform support orders, uniform support orders-standard orders, and instructions for completion of the uniform support order is adopted and incorporated as a rule of the family division.

    15. Guardians ad Litem:

        A. The State-wide guardian ad litem application, certification and practice document approved by the supreme court on December 15, 1994, is adopted and incorporated as a rule of the family division.

        B. Reports filed by guardians ad litem in domestic relations cases involving custody and/or visitation arrangements for any dependent child(ren) shall be placed in an envelope marked "Confidential." The guardian's report shall be made available only to parties in the case and their attorneys. If anyone asks to see the file who is neither a party to the case nor an attorney who has filed an appearance in the case, the envelope shall be removed from the file before presenting the file to that individual. If anyone not entitled to see the report specifically requests access to the report, they shall be told to follow the procedures outlined in Supreme Court Administrative Order 92-8, entitled "Guidelines for Public Access to Court Records."

        C. Superior Court Administrative Order #13, relating to guardians ad litem in domestic cases, is adopted and incorporated as a rule of the family division.

    16. Agreed Upon or Proposed Decrees:

        A. Agreed upon or proposed decrees must be filed at all temporary or final divorce, legal separation or parenting hearings.  Any temporary decree for divorce or legal separation must follow the format set forth in Family Division Domestic Relations Rule 28A.  Any final decree for divorce or legal separation must follow the format set forth in Family Division Domestic Relations Rule 28B.  Any temporary or final decree for parenting actions must follow the format set forth in Family Division Domestic Relations Rule 29.

        B. All stipulations, agreements, and proposed decrees shall be typewritten and signed by the parties and, if represented by counsel, by attorneys for the parties. The court may accept handwritten stipulations or agreements provided the parties file a typewritten substitute with the court within ten days. A typewritten substitute does not need to contain signatures.

    17. Alternative Dispute Resolution: The court shall not convene a pre-trial hearing, or final hearing, unless the parties have attended the ADR information seminar, and have certified said participation to the court, except in extraordinary circumstances. Attendance at the ADR seminar may be waived if the parties have filed a joint petition, have no dependent children, and file a permanent stipulation.

    18. Child Impact Seminar: In any domestic relations action brought before the family division where the parties are involved with child custody and support issues, the parties shall be required to attend the child impact seminar as required in RSA 458-D. No final hearing will be scheduled, and no permanent stipulation approved until both parties have attended the child impact seminar.

    19. Certificate of Divorce: No divorce, legal separation, or annulment shall be heard on its merits until a typewritten vital statistics report, fully completed, is filed with the court by the petitioner/attorney.

    20. Uncontested/Default Hearings:

        A. Spouse's Appearance Filed: When the spouse has filed an appearance, the matter shall not be heard uncontested unless there is a stipulation or a writing on file from the spouse or the spouse's attorney that the spouse does not wish to be heard.

        B. Spouse's Appearance Not Filed: No divorce, legal separation, or annulment shall be heard in any case where no appearance has been filed by the spouse unless the petitioner/attorney has filed a military affidavit, vital statistics report, non-cohabitation affidavit, affidavit of impossibility, proposed decree and financial affidavit with information current to within thirty days of the notice of hearing, and if dependent child(ren) are involved a uniform support order and child support guideline worksheet. In addition, the petitioner/attorney must have filed a certificate that copies of each of the foregoing items has been forwarded to the spouse. If a non-cohabitation affidavit is not filed with the court as required by this rule, the hearing may proceed following at least fourteen days' written notice from the court to the spouse that the matter has been scheduled for hearing.

    21. Pre-Trial Conference:

        A. A pre-trial conference shall be held prior to the final hearing to identify contested issues, identify witnesses, mark exhibits, exchange proposed orders, determine whether a record of the final hearing shall be made, and complete any other matters the court deems appropriate. The parties shall file and exchange financial affidavits, worksheets, and proposed orders not less than seven days before the pre-trial conference.

        B. A pre-trial conference order shall be issued by the court after the pre-trial conference.

    21-A.  Attendance of Minors:

        In any proceedings brought pursuant to RSA chapters 168-A, 458, 458-A, or 460, no minor child shall be deposed or brought to a deposition, brought to court to appear as a witness or to attend a hearing without prior order of the court based upon good cause shown unless in an emergency situation.

    22. Final Hearings:

        A. Witnesses: Failure to disclose the identification of any proposed witness at the pre-trial hearing shall preclude a party from offering the testimony of that witness at the final hearing, except upon motion for good cause.

        B. Exhibits. All exhibits to be offered or used at the final hearing shall be submitted to the court and the other party at the pre-trial conference except as required by Rule 13 C. At the pre-trial conference, the court shall establish any conditions for the admissibility of each exhibit.

    23. Effective Date: Decrees in uncontested divorces shall become effective on the date of the judge's signature, unless otherwise specified by the court.

    24. Modifications:

        A. No modification of any final divorce or separation decree shall be considered, except upon petition setting forth the grounds relied upon, which petition shall be served upon the other party. Service shall be made according to the procedure in Rule 3.

        B. A joint petition or stipulation for modification may be filed without service. The petition or stipulation must be signed and acknowledged by both parties.

        C. No hearing shall be held on a petition for modification, and no stipulation for modification shall be approved, unless the parties have filed current financial affidavits, child support guideline worksheets, and uniform support orders.

        D. Parties may stipulate to change a decree of legal separation to one of divorce. The petition or stipulation must be signed and acknowledged by both parties.

    25. Other Domestic Relations Matters: Petitions for legal separation, nullity of marriage, alimony, custody and/or visitation of children, support, and paternity shall be governed by the rules established in this section of the Family Division Rules.

    26.  Parenting Plans: 

       
  A.  Parenting plans shall be filed in all divorce and legal separation actions where there are minor children, and in all parenting actions.  Parents shall work together to agree upon as many provisions of the parenting plan as possible.  Exceptions to the requirement that parents work together on parenting plans include cases where there is evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect, or as otherwise excused by the court.  

        B.  In any divorce, legal separation, or parenting action in which a temporary parenting order is requested, a temporary parenting plan must be filed at the temporary hearing.

        C.  A final parenting plan must be filed at the final hearing in any final divorce or legal separation action where there are minor children, and in all final parenting actions.

        D.  Parenting plans must be filed in all actions to modify final parenting plans or prior final parenting-related orders issued in divorce, legal separation, or custody actions.

        E.  Parties may use the parenting plan form provided by the court or may create their own parenting plan. However, parties who create their own parenting plans must adhere to the standard order of lettered paragraphs set forth at Family Division Domestic Relations Rule 27, Standard Order of Paragraphs for Parenting Plan.

        F.  All parenting plans required by this rule shall be filed as separate documents, signed by one or more parties.

        G.  For all actions requiring parenting plans, if a complete parenting plan is not agreed upon by the parties which includes every provision of the Standard Order of Paragraphs for Parenting Plan, a partially agreed-upon parenting plan, signed by the parties, and a proposed parenting plan for the remaining provisions must be filed by each party.

   27. Standard Order of Paragraphs for Parenting Plan:

        
All parenting plans shall be set forth in the following order of paragraphs.  "N/A" may be used to denote paragraphs that do not apply to a particular situation. 

          A.  Decision Making Responsibility

          1.  Major Decisions

          2.  Day-to-Day Decisions

          3.  Other

  B.  Residential Responsibility & Parenting Schedule

          1.  Routine Schedule

          2.  Holiday and Birthday Planning

          3.  Three-day weekends

          4.  Vacation Schedule

          5.  Supervised Parenting Time

          6.  Other Parental Responsibilities

  C.  Legal Residence of a Child for School Attendance

  D.  Transportation and Exchange of the Child(ren)

  E.  Information Sharing and Access, Including Telephone and Electronic Access

          1.  Parent-Child Telephone Contact

          2.  Parent-Child Written Communication

  F.  Relocation of a Residence of a Child

  G.  Procedure for Review and Adjustment of Parenting Plan

  H.  Method(s) for Resolving Disputes

  I.   Other Parenting Agreements Attached


28.
Standard Order of Paragraphs for Temporary and Final Decrees on Divorce and Legal Separation:

         
A.  Temporary: All temporary agreements and proposed decrees shall be set forth in the following order of paragraphs.  "N/A" may be used to denote paragraphs that do not apply to a particular situation. 

               1.      Type of Case.

       2.      Parenting Plan and Uniform Support Order.

       3.      Tax Exemptions for Children. 

       4.      Guardian ad Litem Fees.

       5.      Alimony. 

       6.      Health Insurance For Spouse.

       7.      Life Insurance. 

       8.      Motor Vehicles. 

       9.      Furniture and Other Personal Property. 

       10.    Retirement Plans and Other Tax-Deferred Assets. 

       11.    Other Financial Assets. 

       12.    Business Interests of the Parties. 

       13.    Division of Debt. 

       14.    Marital Home. 

       15.    Other Real Property. 

       16.    Enforceability after Death. 

       17.    Restraints against the Property.

       18.    Restraining Order. 

       19.    Other Requests.

          B.  Final: All final agreements and proposed decrees shall be set forth in the following order of paragraphs.  "N/A" may be used to denote paragraphs that do not apply to a particular situation.

               1.      Type of Case.

       2.      Parenting Plan and Uniform Support Order. 

       3.      Tax Exemptions for Children. 

       4.      Guardian ad Litem Fees. 

       5.      Alimony. 

       6.      Health Insurance For Spouse. 

       7.      Life Insurance. 

       8.      Motor Vehicles. 

       9.      Furniture and Other Personal Property. 

       10.    Retirement Plans and Other Tax-Deferred Assets. 

       11.    Other Financial Assets. 

       12.    Business Interests of the Parties. 

       13.    Division of Debt. 

       14.    Marital Home. 

       15.    Other Real Property. 

       16.    Enforceability after Death. 

       17.    Signing of Documents. 

       18.    Restraining Order. 

       19.    Name Change.

       20.    Other Requests.

29.
  Standard Order of Paragraphs for Decree on Parenting Petition:

         
All agreements and proposed decrees in parenting actions shall be set forth in the following order of paragraphs.  "N/A" may be used to denote paragraphs that do not apply to a particular situation.

        1.      Parenting Plan and Uniform Support Order. 

        2.      Tax Exemptions for Children. 

        3.      Guardian ad Litem Fees. 

        4.      Life Insurance. 

        5.      Enforceability after Death. 

        6.      Restraining Order. 

        7.      Other Requests. 

30.
Personal Data Sheet:

         
At the time of filing any initial pleading or pleading that brings an action forward, the filing party shall, and the responding party may, file a completed personal data sheet. Should a party become aware of any change in addresses, telephone numbers, or employment during the pendency of a case or of any outstanding support order, that party shall notify the court of such change. Access to information contained in the personal data sheet shall be restricted to court personnel, the Office of Child Support, the court-appointed mediator, the guardian ad litem, the parties, and counsel unless a party has requested on the data sheet that it not be disclosed to the other party.

JUVENILE

    
    District Court Rules applicable to delinquency, abuse and neglect, and CHINS cases shall be deemed the rules of the family division and are incorporated herein by reference. Notwithstanding RSA 169-C:28 and RSA 159-D:20, appeals in abuse and neglect and CHINS cases heard in the family division shall be directly to the supreme court. See Laws 1995, 152:5, IV and :8.

ADOPTION, TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS, AND GUARDIANSHIPS OVER MINORS

    
    Probate Court Rules applicable to adoptions, termination of parental rights, and guardianships over minors cases shall be deemed the rules of the family division and are incorporated herein by reference, with the exception that the additional filing fee of $5.00 for each of these cases adopted pursuant to RSA 490:27, effective July 14, 2002, for probate court mediation shall not apply until such time as RSA 490:27 is amended.   


    [Editor's Note:  The "additional filing fee of $5.00" refers to a $5.00 increase in the filing fees reflected in an amendment to Probate Court Rule 169 that was adopted by order of the Supreme Court dated May 21, 2002.  The amendment to Probate Court Rule 169 and the $5.00 increase took effect on July 14, 2002.]

GUARDIANS AD LITEM


    Certification by the New Hampshire Guardian ad Litem Board (referred to in this rule as the “Board”) in superior, district and probate courts is encouraged to ensure adequate numbers of guardians ad litem who are qualified to serve in all categories of family division cases.

   At a minimum, persons serving as guardians ad litem in the family division must be Board certified as follows:

          (1)  For appointment in family division cases of Divorce, Legal Separation, or Parental Rights and Responsibilities, Guardians ad litem must be Board certified in the superior court.

          (2)  For appointment in family division cases of Juvenile Delinquency, Children in Need of Services, Abuse and Neglect, or Domestic Violence, guardians ad litem must be Board certified in the district court.

          (3)  For appointment in family division cases of Termination of Parental Rights, Guardianship of Minors, or Adoption, guardians ad litem must be Board certified in the probate court.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

    
    The District Court Protocol applicable to the processing of domestic violence cases shall be deemed the protocol of the family division for such cases and is incorporated herein by reference.

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