NewHampshire Divorce

Divorce in New Hampshire

Laws Relative to Divorce in New Hampshire

Residency Requirements for Filing for Divorce in New Hampshire

To file for a New Hampshire divorce, one of the requirements must be met:

  • Both spouses must be residents of the state when the divorce is filed for,
  • the spouse filing for divorce must have been a resident of New Hampshire for 1 year immediately prior to filing for divorce and the other spouse was personally served with process within the state; or
  • the cause of divorce must have arisen in New Hampshire and one of the spouses must be living in New Hampshire when the divorce is filed for.

New Hampshire Divorce Filing Requirements

A New Hampshire divorce may be filed for in a county where either spouse resides.

Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire

The grounds for a New Hampshire divorce are:

  • irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage;
  • impotence;
  • adultery;
  • abandonment and not been heard of for 2 years;
  • imprisonment with a sentence of more than 1 year served;
  • physical misconduct or reasonable apprehension of physical misconduct;
  • desertion without support of spouse by husband for 2 years;
  • cruel and inhuman treatment;
  • habitual intemperance (drunkenness) for 2 years;
  • living separate and apart without cohabitation (wife left without husband’s consent for 2 years);
  • mental abuse;
  • when either spouse has joined a religious society which professes that the relationship of the husband and wife is unlawful and refuses to cohabit with the other for 6 consecutive months;
  • when the wife of any citizen of New Hampshire leaves the state without her husband’s consent and lives elsewhere for 10 consecutive years without returning to claim her marriage rights; and
  • when the wife lives in New Hampshire for 2 years and her husband becomes the citizen of a foreign country without supporting the wife.

New Hampshire Law Relative to Alimony

New Hampshire alimony or spousal support may be awarded to either party if:

  • the spouse in need lacks sufficient income or property to provide for reasonable needs, taking into account the standard of living during the marriage; and
  • the spouse to pay is able to meet his or her reasonable needs, taking into account the standard of living during the marriage; and
  • the spouse in need is unable to support him or herself at a reasonable standard of living or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not seek employment outside the home.

In awarding alimony or spousal support, a New Hampshire Court will consider the following:

  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the age of the spouses;
  • the physical and emotional conditions of the spouses;
  • the vocational skills and employability of the spouse seeking support;
  • the tax consequences to each spouse;
  • the amount and sources of income of the spouses;
  • the occupation of the spouses;
  • the value of each spouse’s property;
  • the liabilities and needs of each spouse;
  • the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
  • any marital fault if such fault caused the breakdown of the marriage and caused pain and suffering or economic loss;
  • the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of the marital property, including any non-economic contributions of each spouse to the family unit; and
  • the social and economic status of each spouse.

New Hampshire Property Division Laws

In a New Hampshire divorce, all property will be divided in an equitable and just manner. A New Hampshire divorce Court will presume that an equal division of all property is equitable. The Court will consider the following factors:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • the age and health of the spouses;
  • the occupation of the spouses;
  • the vocational skills of the spouses;
  • the employability of the spouses;
  • the value of each spouse’s property;
  • the amount and sources of income of the spouses;
  • the liabilities and needs of each spouse;
  • the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
  • the ability of the custodial parent to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of any minor children in custody;
  • the need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and any household furnishings;
  • the actions of either spouse during the marriage which contributed to the increase or decrease in value of any property;
  • any significant disparity between the spouses in relation to the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse to the care and education of the children and the care and management of the home;
  • the expectation of any retirement or pension benefits;
  • the federal income tax consequences of the court’s division of the property;
  • any marital fault if such fault caused the breakdown of the marriage and caused pain and suffering or economic loss;
  • the value of any property acquired prior to marriage or exchanged for property acquired prior to marriage;
  • the value of any gifts or inheritances;
  • any direct or indirect contribution to the education or career development of the other spouse;
  • any interruption in education or career opportunities to benefit the other’s career, the marriage, or any children;
  • the social and economic status of each spouse;
  • any other relevant factor.

New Hampshire Child Custody Laws

In 2005 New Hampshire enacted legislation for addressing child custody issues for a range of domestic relations cases. As a matter of law the State adheres to the principle that children do best when both parents have a stable and meaningful involvement in the children’s lives. Consequently, it is the policy of the State to effect the following:

  • support frequent and continuing contact between each child and both parents
  • Encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of raising their children after the parents have separated or divorced
  • Encourage parents to develop their own parenting plan with the assistance of legal and mediation professionals, unless there is evidence of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect
  • Grant the parents and Courts the widest discretion in developing a parenting plan
  • Most important, consider both the best interests of the child and the safety of the parties in developing a parenting plan.

New Hampshire Child Support Laws

New Hampshire child support is based upon official guidelines. The amount of child support arrived at under the New Hampshire guidelines is presumed to be correct unless it is shown that the amount is unjust or inappropriate. The factors for consideration for deviating from the New Hampshire child support guidelines are:

  • any extraordinary medical, dental, or educational expenses of the child;
  • a significantly higher or lower income of either parent;
  • the economic consequences of the presence of any stepparents or stepchildren;
  • any extraordinary costs associated with physical custody;
  • the economic consequences to either parent of the disposition of the marital home;
  • any state or federal tax consequences;
  • any split or shared custody arrangements; and
  • any other significant factor.

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