NEW HAMPSHIRE DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: Either both parties must be residents of the state when the divorce is filed, or the spouse filing for divorce must have been a resident of New Hampshire for one year immediately prior to the filing of the divorce, and the other spouse was personally served with process in New Hampshire, 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.
No Fault: Irreconcilable differences that have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.
Fault: Impotence; Adultery; Extreme cruelty; Conviction of felony and imprisonment; Seriously injuring health or endangering reason of the other party; Absent for two years, and has not been heard of; Habitual drunkenness for two years; Joining a religious sect or society that teaches that the relation of husband and wife is unlawful, and refusing to cohabit for six months; Refusing to cohabit, without sufficient cause and without consent, for two years.
Property Division: New Hampshire is an equitable distribution “hotchpot” state. This means the court can divide any and all property owned by the parties, however and whenever acquired, in an “equitable” manner, i.e., fairly as the circumstances dictate (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
The court may consider 22 factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The age, health, social or economic status of the parties
- The occupation, vocational skills, employability, separate property, amount and sources of income, needs and liabilities of each party
- The ability of a custodial parent to engage in gainful employment without substantially interfering with the interests of any minor children
- The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects
- Significant disparity between the parties in relation to contributions to the marriage, including contributions to the care and education of the children and the care and management of the home
- The expectation of pension or retirement rights acquired prior to or during the marriage
Alimony: The court may award alimony to either party, if the party in need lacks sufficient income, property, or both; to provide for such party's reasonable needs, taking into account the style of living to which the party had become accustomed; and if the party from whom alimony is sought is able to meet reasonable needs while meeting those of the party seeking alimony; and if the party in need is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment, or cannot seek employment outside the home because of parental responsibilities. In determining the amount, the court shall consider 13 factors, including the length of the marriage; the age, health, social or economic status, occupation, amount and sources of income; and the fault of either party.
Child custody and support: As in all states, child custody is determined by “the best interests of the child.” Under the child custody statute, joint legal custody is presumed to be in the best interests of the child, unless the child has been abused by one parent. Custody is awarded based on preference of the child, education of the child, findings and recommendations of a neutral mediator, any other factors. Repeated and unwarranted interference by a parent with primary custody is a factor for modifying custody (click the following for an expert's overview and list of articles on child custody and child support).
New Hampshire child-support guidelines apply a percentage to the parents’ combined income, and then apportions that between the parents.
- For one child, 25 percent
- For two children, 33 percent
- For three children, 40 percent
- For four or more children, 45 percent.
New Hampshire has an on-line calculator that can help you figure out child support in your case.
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.