A brief guide to divorce in New Hampshire
Couples who need to separate in New Hampshire should be aware of the following things:
New Hampshire state divorce laws
To file for divorce in New Hampshire, at least one of the parties must have been a resident of the state for the past year or longer. You can file in the county where either party lives.
Grounds for divorce
Aside from no-fault divorces, there are several grounds for divorce in New Hampshire. Petitions for at-fault divorce may cite the reasons of:
• Extreme cruelty
• A partner’s conviction for a crime that could carry a sentence of imprisonment for at least a year
• Health-endangering treatment
• Chronic drunkenness in your partner for two years or longer
• One partner joins a religious group or sect that does not condone marriage
• Abandonment for two years or longer
Couples who are uncertain whether they wish to file for divorce in New Hampshire can apply for legal separation. This will create legally binding documents establishing guidelines for child support, payment of debt and other issues. These terms can later be applied to divorce if the couple decides to take that step. The separation can be withdrawn if the couple is reconciled.
Types of divorce
If both partners agree on all the terms of their divorce, a joint petition can be filed for a no-fault, uncontested divorce. Couples who are unable to reach an agreement in any area will appear in court to have a judge hear the facts of their contested divorce.
No fault divorce
Fault does not have to be demonstrated for a divorce to be granted. A no fault divorce in New Hampshire can be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences that have irreparably damaged the marriage.
Steps in the divorce process
If a joint petition is not submitted, after one spouse submits a petition for divorce in New Hampshire is filed, the other will receive a notification. The other party will have 10 days to go to court and receive a copy of the divorce petition. If they do not pick up their paperwork, they will receive a copy by certified mail or from a sheriff.
Couples without children under the age of 18 who complete all the forms and are in agreement may not be required to appear in court. Couples with minor children will need to appear in court for an initial and final hearing, and will also be required to complete a child impact seminar.
Depending on the nature of the divorce, one spouse or another may petition for alimony. The finances and employability of both people will be among the factors taken into consideration.
Child support is calculated as a direct percentage of the income of whichever parent does not have custody. Adjustments may be made in the case of unexpected child medical expenses, the non-custody parent’s ability to pay and other factors.
Fathers’ and mothers’ rights
Custody decisions are not made on the basis of gender in cases of divorce in New Hampshire. Joint custody is often awarded but is not the default judgment of the court. Children who are old enough may state a preference as to which parent they want to live with.