Going To Court in the Family Division and Mandatory Initial Self Disclosure
If you are going to court in New Hampshire for a family law matter - divorce, parenting or child support petitions or petitions to modify an existing order - you must comply with the court's Family Division Rule 1.25-A.
Rule 1.25-A is called "Mandatory Initial Self Disclosure" and involves what materials you MUST provide in the inititial discovery process. "Discovery" is part of the pretrial process where each party has a right to ask the other party for information or materials that will be relevant to the upcoming court proceeding and in determining issues.
The difference of Mandatory Initial Self Discovery from regular discovery is that each party is required to provide certain materials to the other party, without the other party having to ask for them.
By When Must The Information Be Delivered?
Unless the parties agree to, or the court orders, a different time frame, Initial Self Disclosures must be delivered to the other party within 45 days of the date of service. Or, no later than10 days prior to the temporary hearing or initial hearing on the petition. This does not include the First Appearance required by rule 2.11.
What Information is Required to be Disclosed?
This is not an exhaustive list of what is required but an overview. You should read Rule 1.25-A thoroughly to ensure you fully comply.
- The parties must provide a Financial Affidavit, which is basically a very detailed picture of your assets, income, debt, and monthly expenses
- 3 most recent years of personal and business tax returns (all time frames are from the date of the filing of the action)
- Your 4 most recent pay stubs
- Documentation of enrollment and expenses of healthcare costs - personal, spouse, and children's
- 12 months of financial statements, employment benefits, bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts
- 6 months of credit card accounts
Note: Failure to comply with the mandatory disclosure rule may result in an unfavorable ruling from the court.