FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Meeting With Us

How do I start the process?

You can call our office at 603… or email us to set up an appointment with an attorney.

Do I need an attorney?
Can I pay as I go?

Divorce

How long does it take to get divorced?

The amount of time it takes to complete a divorce varies substantially. If parties agree on every issue, then it’s possible to be divorced within a a few months. If parties require litigating to a final hearing, then it’s more likely that the divorce will take over one year.

Do I have options if my spouse doesn’t want a divorce but I do?

Your spouse does not have to agree to a divorce. You can file an individual divorce petition to begin the divorce process without your spouse’s agreement.

Will I have to pay alimony?

Alimony is not ordered in every divorce.  Alimony depends on many factors such as one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.

Will I have to sell my house?

The court will not automatically require that you sell your house as part of the divorce. If you have the ability to pay your spouse for their share of the equity in the marital home, then you will be able to argue that you should be able to keep the home. 

Will my spouse’s retirement accounts be divided with me?

Retirement accounts are considered marital assets and can be divided in a divorce.

What is a Temporary Hearing?

The Temporary Hearing is a brief hearing that allows the court to implement Temporary Orders that will stay in place throughout the divorce process. If you need a temporary parenting schedule, temporary child support, an order for which spouse can have temporary sole use of the marital home, or any other temporary order, these orders can be issued after the Temporary Hearing.

What is the First Appearance?

The First Appearance is a brief telephone call with the court’s case coordinator. The case coordinator will ensure that they have accurate contact information for each party and discuss scheduling the case for mediation.

Should I get a prenuptial agreement before I get married?

Prenuptial agreements can have a substantial impact your future and we encourage you to consult with a family law attorney to learn more about whether a prenuptial agreement will be useful for you.

My fiancé says I have to sign a prenuptial. What should I do?

If you are told that you must sign a prenuptial agreement, we strongly encourage you to have a consultation with a family law attorney. 

Parenting

Will I only get to see my kids every other weekend?

Parenting schedules depend on many factors. There is no rule that limits one parent to having only alternating weekends with their children. 

How much is child support?

Child support is calculated using the gross monthly income of both parents, the number of children, and a few additional factors. You can use online NH child support calculators to calculate a likely child support order.

What should I do if the other parent won’t let me see my children?
Do I have to go to mediation?
Can my ex just move away with my children?

Collaborative Law

What is Collaborative Law?
How is the collaborative process different from mediation?

Mediation

What is mediation?
Do I have to go to mediation?
Can I go to mediation without a lawyer?

Parenting Coordinator

What is a Parenting Coordinator?
How is a Parenting Coordinator different from a mediator?
Who chooses the parenting coordinator?

Domestic Violence

How do I get a restraining order?
Do I qualify for a DV restraining order?

If you are in immediate danger, please consider calling the police for help.

If you have been abused by a family member or intimate partner and the abuser is still a credible threat to you, you may qualify for a domestic violence restraining order to stop the abuse.

If you are being harassed or abused by someone who is not a family member or intimate partner, you can get relief by filing a stalking petition. 

How can I defend myself against a DV petition?

To defend yourself against a domestic violence petition, make sure you read the allegations that the other party included in the DV petition and attend the court hearing prepared to show the court why those allegations are not accurate or why those allegations do not meet the requirements for a restraining order. 

Do I need an attorney?

Attorneys are not required to get a restraining order or to defend yourself against a restraining order.

My ex filed a DV against me, can I get a faster hearing than what the court scheduled?

Usually the court will schedule the final DV hearing for almost 30 days away from the date the temporary restraining order is granted. This is to allow you time to prepare for the hearing. If you want a faster hearing, you have the right to request a hearing to be held within five days. You can file this request at the court that issued the temporary restraining order against you.

Stalking

How do I get a stalking restraining order?
How is a stalking order different than a DV order?
What do I have to prove to get a stalking order?
How can I defend myself against a stalking order?
Do I need an attorney for my stalking case?

Appeals

My ex filed an appeal after we got the final order, what do I do now?
I believe the court made legal mistakes in my final order, what can I do?

You can request for the NH Supreme Court to review the trial court order by filing an appeal. Appeals are controlled by strict deadlines so you must move quickly after you receive a final order from the court. 

How long does it take for the whole appeals process?
Does my ex have to pay the child support order if they filed an appeal?

QDROs

What is a QDRO?

QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. These are separate court orders that are required to divide defined contribution plans (401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc.) and defined benefit retirement plans (pensions) after a divorce. 

How do I know whether or not I need a QDRO?

You can contact the plan administrator of your retirement plan to ask whether your plan requires a QDRO to divide the plan after a divorce. It is our experience that most IRA accounts do not require a QDRO to divide but all other retirement plans do require a QDRO to divide after a divorce.

How long does it take to get a QDRO?

There are many steps to get a qualified QDRO and every retirement plan is different. The fastest completion time for a QDRO could be to have completion in approximately three months but most take longer because of the speed of review from the retirement plan administrator. 

My final decree says that I need a QDRO. How do I start the process?

The QDRO process at our office begins by sending an email to QDRO@sandslawfirm.com. 

Get in touch

Our address

35 East Pearl Street
Nashua, NH 03060

Call Us

Phone: 603-594-8300
Fax: 603-594-3786

Send us an email

Contact Us
Disclaimer
The materials and resources on this website are for general informational purposes only. Nothing on this website should be construed as providing legal advice, legal opinion or any other advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The information on this website shall not be construed as formation of an attorney-client relationship. Should you contact the firm via email, your email will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Please note that the firm is not responsible for third-party links to information.The materials and resources on this website are for general informational purposes only. Nothing on this website should be construed as providing legal advice, legal opinion or any other advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The information on this website shall not be construed as formation of an attorney-client relationship. Should you contact the firm via email, your email will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Please note that the firm is not responsible for third-party links to information.