If the other party is not following the orders the court made, you can file a Petition for Contempt.
A. General Instructions for the Process
- "County" refers to the county where you are going to file your petition.
- "In the Matter of
" should be completed by inserting the full name of both parents.
- Please note that your signature on the petition must be notarized.
- You must also complete a Personal Data Sheet to file with your Petition. Make sure to mark the appropriate box under your name if you are concerned about your safety and do not want personal information disclosed to the other party.
- You should call the clerk's office for the amount of your filing fee and for further instructions regarding the next steps, including how the other party will be notified about the filing of the petition.
- You may be asked to complete a financial affidavit and you should be prepared to supply information regarding your income, employment, monthly expenses and life, health and dental insurance. You may be required to supply a copy of your latest income tax returns or your most recent pay stubs.
- After filing the petition, the court will send you Orders of Notice that contains important information for both parties. It is critical that you read this information carefully to understand the process.
- You will need to make arrangements for the other parent to be served with the Petition and the Orders of Notice. To do this, bring all of the paperwork to the sheriff's department. You will have to pay the sheriff to serve the papers. The sheriff will tell you the cost.
- Once the sheriff has served the other parent, the sheriff will send you a "Return of Service" that verifies the other parent has been given a copy of the petition and Orders of Notice. You must send in this return to the court immediately.
- If the sheriff cannot deliver the paperwork, the sheriff will let you know and you should call the court to find out what to do next.
If at this point, you both agree on all important issues, you may go ahead with a final uncontested hearing. The following documents will be required for a final hearing:
- An agreement that includes provisions for how the order shall be enforced.
- Both parties may also be required to file a financial affidavit. Be advised that some courts may require you to complete the affidavit on their own green form. There are instructions included on this form that you should pay particular attention to.
B. Contested Case
Your case is contested when you cannot agree on one or more important issues.
Once you have filed your petition, there are many ways you could attempt to resolve your differences. These include:
Contact an attorney (See the NH Bar Association "Need a Lawyer?" Section)
Contact a Superior Court Certified Marital Mediator
A combination of the above
You can proceed with the case on your own without professional assistance but you take the risk of not protecting your and/or your childrens best interest.
Court staff can assist you with procedures and forms but cannot give you substantive advice about what you should do in your particular situation.
In order to have contested issues decided by a marital master or judge, you will need to contact the court to request a hearing date.