How Much Does a Divorce Cost in New Hampshire?

Getting divorced in New Hampshire can be an emotionally trying and complex process. When considering the cost of divorce in NH, most people significantly underestimate the expense as it is hard to think of everything it may potentially comprise. From costs related to lawyers and taxes to the basic fees for filing the paperwork and gathering documentation, couples should educate themselves on the typical financial implications of separating assets and households after marriage.

Though online services promoting simple divorce options have become more common, most cases involving property division disputes or divorce issues regarding children require professional legal guidance to reach a settlement. Yet, there are cheap options for those who are ending things without disputes. This article provides an overview of the average divorce cost in New Hampshire and online divorce cost options to help couples contemplating or initiating the process better understand how much does a divorce cost in NH and how to minimize expenses through amicable resolution.

Average Cost of a Divorce in New Hampshire

In recent years, the average cost of a divorce in NH has been about $18,500. However, many factors influence the overall divorce cost in New Hampshire, including whether the proceedings are contested or uncontested, if marital assets need appraising, and if spousal or child support requires determination. You may even spend under $500 on your case, depending on your family situation.

So, what is the cost of an average divorce in New Hampshire? The overall divorce cost fluctuates based on the complexity of divorce issues like child custody or retirement fund division. Typically, an uncontested or simple divorce with minimal shared assets or disputes runs closer to $2,000, while intense litigation around property, finances, or children can escalate closer to $18,500+.

Even amicable divorces may require legal guidance when sharing assets or debts, for instance, when spouses are not sure about the estimated values or what property division options they have. As the specifics around the division of marital property, alimony, and child-related factors increase, so does the cost of divorce in NH.

Below are deeper looks at the average cost of divorce in both uncontested and contested scenarios. By understanding these estimates, couples can better prepare for the overall expense of permanently dissolving their legal union.

Cost of Uncontested Divorce in New Hampshire

The cost of an uncontested divorce in New Hampshire, with no disputes over finances or child-related concerns, generally ranges from $500 to $2,000. Though the average filing fees within the state revolve around $250, hidden costs frequently emerge when submittals are incomplete, or issues needing legal advice or intervention exist. Even amicable, simple divorce cases can incur expenses like:

  • State filing fees ($230-$280 depending on the county and how documents are submitted);
  • Serving divorce paperwork to the respondent ($100-$150);
  • Gathering necessary financial information (hourly paralegal fees of $50-$150);
  • Reviewing and approving all completed forms with an attorney (hourly fees of $150-$450);
  • Court costs for final hearing and approval ($300-$500).

The cost of an uncontested divorce in New Hampshire can be higher if additional steps are involved, like splitting retirement accounts requiring court orders called QDROs, appraisals of shared property, or more complex debt or asset division. However, for couples able to agreeably divide their marital estate and handle their own emotions through permanent separation, an uncontested path with fixed legal guidance fees in the lower range is common. With an online service and pro se filing, you may be able to divorce for under $500.

Cost of Contested Divorce in New Hampshire

For cases involving intense disputes around assets, debts, or child concerns like custody or visitation, the cost of a contested divorce in New Hampshire steeply climbs to an average range of $11,500-$18,500+. Divorce costs increase as each issue requires gathering evidence, appraisals, and hearings to reach a settlement or trial. Contested divorces minimally require:

  • All common costs related to filings, documentation, etc.;
  • Depositions ($500+ per person interviewed under oath);
  • Business evaluation for shared commercial assets ($2,500+ per business);
  • Forensic accounting to detail contested financial records ($3,000+);
  • Child custody evaluations, including interviews, aptitude tests, and home studies ($5,000+);
  • Expert testimony by analysts or specialists for areas being disputed in a trial;
  • A significant number of attorney’s hours for trial preparation and proceedings (often exceeding $15,000).

Overall, with all the contested divorce issues and the extensive time spent by an attorney preparing arguments, conducting negotiations, and representing you in the courtroom, the cost of a contested divorce in New Hampshire quickly sums to the higher end. The worst-case scenarios may cost $25,000 or more, with litigations dragging on for many months. Any steps made to avoid trial can curb expenses.

Average Fees for a Divorce Lawyer in New Hampshire

Hiring an experienced divorce attorney contributes greatly to the escalating divorce cost in New Hampshire. According to the data gathered from multiple legal associations and individual lawyers’ websites, average fees for a divorce lawyer in New Hampshire range from $150 to $500+ per hour. These steep attorney fees quickly multiply through the extensive preparation and repeated court appearances contested cases require.

For example, at $300 per hour, a divorce lawyer dedicating 10 hours to a trial could cost $3,000 alone. Add repeating monthly fees for ongoing document drafting, financial analysis, discussions of case strategy, and negotiations, and it’s common for a total divorce lawyer cost to exceed $20,000. Even fairly straightforward, uncontested divorces may require attorney guidance in navigating legal documentation, asset division, and addressing minor divorce issues if couples believe they would require such services.

In simple divorce cases, the average cost of divorce in NH is around $500-$2,500. Some couples get legal consultations and opt for paperwork help with online services after to lower the cost. Those in full agreement often choose to forego the consultation and drop the costs significantly when there is nothing to discuss or clarify with a legal professional.

Average Filing Fees in New Hampshire

When considering the overall divorce cost, couples must factor in average filing fees in New Hampshire on top of attorney rates and related proceedings expenses.

The official submission of dissolution paperwork with the court costs starting from $250, depending on the number and type of any additional forms and motions. Acquiring certified copies of certificates and final judgments runs another $50+.

While the average filing fees in New Hampshire may seem minimal for a simple divorce, hidden costs frequently emerge if all marital concerns aren’t thoroughly documented in the original submittal. Realistically, divorces with jointly owned property or debts require professional guidance to accurately detail awards and prevent rejections that increase the overall divorce cost.

Factors that Affect the Cost of a New Hampshire Divorce

There are several critical factors that affect the cost of a New Hampshire divorce, causing the total divorce cost to vary widely based on the complexity of proceedings and requiring litigation if disputes emerge.

Minor Children

Cases involving minor children entail significantly higher divorce costs. Additional legal considerations around custody, visitation schedules, determining child support, and navigating laws around the children’s best interests all expand attorney hours spent. Contested child-related disputes also commonly necessitate professional evaluations/studies, guardian ad litem charges, and more drawn-out negotiations.

Assets and Debts

The number and value of marital assets requiring identification, appraisal, and equitable division also leads to higher divorce costs. Property disputes add steps like court motions to value assets (minimum $85 per motion), extensive documentation/evidence collection, and potentially professional valuations or forensic accounting (up to $5,000+).

Alimony Determinations

Deciding appropriate spousal support heightens the expenses through financial data analysis, income evaluations, and settlement negotiations. Contesting proposed amounts requires attorney efforts and court appearances.

Type of Divorce

Simple divorce cases that are completely uncontested with only basic filings incur lower costs. However, as more areas of dispute emerge – property division, finances, child-related matters – costs rise quickly. On average, an uncontested case ranges between $500 and $2,000, while intense litigation causing prolonged proceedings can escalate from $11,500 to $18,500 and more.

Information Disclosure

Full, honest disclosure upfront keeps costs lower. However, incomplete or ambiguous financial statements immediately obstruct negotiations, adding legal fees to ping-pong revised documentation. False representation also risks fraud penalties.

Number of Motions Filed

When spouses cannot agree while separated pre-divorce, motions must formally request interim rulings from the court on finances, living arrangements, healthcare, etc. Each additional motion filed adds a minimum of $85 to the total divorce cost.

Willingness to Negotiate

Parties unwilling to negotiate require extensive litigation, driving up attorney hours spent preparing arguments. Mediation by trained specialists facilitates compromise between parties and is generally 40%-60% cheaper than adversarial court battles.

Using various paths to amicably address divorce issues while properly disclosing all relevant information keeps the overall cost of divorce in NH contained compared to acrimonious disputes demanding constant legal interventions.

How We Can Help You

The steep divorce cost in New Hampshire can quickly sum into thousands across court fees, attorney rates, and complex proceedings if disputes arise. However, our online divorce paperwork preparation service strives to simplify the process for couples consenting to amicable, simple divorce terms.

For a flat rate as low as $139, we provide completed forms selected for your specific situation in addition to simplified filing instructions. While not legally advising or directly handling any negotiations, settlements, or submittals, our assistance offers an alternative route to ensure you have proper and filled-out documentation addressing assets, support, and other divorce issues. With forms and instructions in hand, you can comfortably handle your marriage dissolution without involving lawyers and incurring high costs.