The Law Offices of Christine G. DeBernardis

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New Hampshire: The First Appearance

    You’ve filed for divorce and you’ve received a notice that you must attend something called a First Appearance. So, what is this?

    If you are a party to a divorce action, and you have children of the marriage that are under the age of eighteen, you will be scheduled to attend a First Appearance shortly after the divorce has been filed. This is a meeting that informs you about the process of divorce in New Hampshire. The First Appearance is designed to tell you about what will happen during your case, how to prepare for what’s to come and what resources are available throughout the process. Common questions about the First Appearance are:

    Do I need my attorney to attend the First Appearance?

    You do not need to have counsel present during the process. This really is an information session for you to learn about the process. However, if you want your attorney to be present, discuss this with him/her to see if s/he will attend or if they have input about whether s/he should attend.

    What do I bring to the First Appearance?

    You should bring a completed financial affidavit to the hearing.

    How long is the First Appearance?

    Plan to be at the Court for a couple of hours that day.

    Will my spouse attend the First Appearance?

    Yes, your spouse will attend the same First Appearance

    Are there any decisions made at the First Appearance?

    No, there is no litigation of your issues at this hearing. This is a meeting that is designed to inform generally and will not address any individual issues.

    What happens at the end of the First Appearance?

    The Court will assess your case, determine the appropriate next step and schedule your next event. This could be a case manager conference, mediation or court hearing.

    If you have questions about the First Appearance, feel free to give us a call and discuss your case at any time. Call us at (603) 373-0545

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