Monday, May 4, 2015

Divorce Laws for New Hampshire in 2015

Divorce is a tricky subject. This is because the laws are extremely varied in every state. In New Hampshire, for a couple to file for a divorce, the court requires that several different procedures be followed:

The first issue is to determine that New Hampshire has jurisdiction.  The most popular method is for one party to be a resident of New Hampshire for at least (1) year prior to filing for divorce, and the divorce must fit within a varied set of guidelines, determining fault or no fault.

-Irreconcilable differences that caused breakdown of the marriage.

-Impotency of husband or wife


-Cruelty to Either Party


-When either party's health or safety is of concern

-If couple has been absent for 2 years or is a drunk for 2 years

-If either member of the couple refuses to cohabit with each other for a period of 2 years together.

Most cases are no fault or irreconcilable differences.


New Hampshire is considered an "equal distribution" state- and what that means is that marital property is divided by what the law thinks is fair. This kind of treatment is meant to encourage both parties to establish ownership and divide property without the court deciding for them.

Generally speaking, the courts would divide the amount right down the middle, but there are extenuating factors that can play into their decision:

-The duration of the marriage

-The age, health, or social or economic status of either party

-The opportunity for each party to acquire future property, assets and wealth

-The ability of the parents to raise children with assets split

-Need of custodial parent to occupy the home

-The actions of each party that contributed to growth or decline of wealth

-Pension or retirement rights

-A prenuptial made in good faith

Child Support/Alimony Payments

New Hampshire courts determine alimony based on the obligation of one spouse to another on either a temporary or permanent basis, which is typically decided with a case-by case approach. Then, the court takes into account the total length of the marriage, the age, overall health and ability of the two parties and also the occupation, sources and amounts of income, and then awards property based on vocational skills, employ-ability, and the needs of the parties.

Child Custody/ Support

In the state of New Hampshire, it's the court's responsibility to do anything possible to lessen any trauma that a child might be experiencing, especially if parents can't come to an agreement on custody- and the court establishes parenting time between the parents upon it's discretion.

This decision is based on many factors, namely:

-the relationship between the child and each individual parent

-the ability of each parent to assure food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment

-the ability to meet a child's needs for developmental and educational support

-the quality of life, school and community that potential effects would have on the child/children
-how supportive one parent is of the other parent’s relationship with the child

Obviously, divorces are complex- and reconciliation is typically a difficult situation. It would be in your best interest to contact a good local divorce attorney to help you through it. The laws in New Hampshire exist solely to help individuals find equality in these hard times- which is best achieved with cooperation.

By Joseph Annutto