New Hampshire Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers NH


Divorce rate in New Hampshire is high in weighing against other states. Divorce rate in this state is 5.0% per 1,000 to the total population. New Hampshire is considered a liberal state. You will find both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce in New Hampshire. But if the grounds are fault based, then there must be pertinent evidence shown against it, else the case will not be forwarded for further undertaking. However, about 98% of divorces in this state are based on no-fault divorce grounds. Annulment in New Hampshire is not in common practice. Annulment exists rarely because its grounds are hard to prove.

It is a good to have a divorce lawyer representing you, because there are certain technicalities you may miss out during a divorce case otherwise.

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Divorce Grounds in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire both no-fault and fault divorce are granted. Therefore the divorce grounds in New Hampshire are categorized into:

No-Fault Divorce Grounds in New Hampshire:

The no-fault divorce grounds in New Hampshire State are as under:

Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage:

Upon the petitioner’s request the court would see if either the spouses can or can not stay together. If there is no hope of reconciliation, the judge will grant a divorce on this no-fault divorce ground in New Hampshire.

Complete Incompatibility:

The quality of being consistent and having a harmonious uniformity among everything is very important in spousal bond. When this mutual inclusiveness finishes the incompatibility leads to a separation. This is a common divorce ground in New Hampshire.

Fault Divorce Grounds in New Hampshire:

Fault divorce grounds in New Hampshire are:

Impotency of Either Party:

Separation usually doesn’t take place on the basis of this divorce ground. In New Hampshire divorce is rarely granted upon this divorce ground. The petitioner will have to prove against the defendant of being unable to copulate to get a divorce on this ground for divorce in New Hampshire.

Adultery of Either Party:

Adultery is a very common ground of divorce. The innocent spouse has to prove with sufficient evidence that the counter spouse was involved in a sexual relationship with third person other than his/her spouse to get a divorce on this divorce ground in New Hampshire.

Extreme Cruelty of Either Party to the Other:

The petition for divorce on this divorce ground in New Hampshire is often because of aggressions at home. It is one of the serious grounds for divorce in the state.

Conviction of Either Party:

The court grants divorce on the basis of a crime subject to punishment by law with imprisonment for more than one year if the total sentence is over seven years.

Cruel and Inhuman Treatment:

When either spouse has treated the other so badly that has caused serious health injury or any other jeopardy, other spouse can claim a divorce decree under this divorce ground in New Hampshire.

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Willful Desertion:

When either spouse has been living apart without sufficient cause and without the consent of the other for 2 years, and has not been heard of, divorce is the ultimate resolution in this situation.

Habitual Drunkenness for Two Years:

When either spouse is a habitual drunkard, and stayed in such condition for 2 years, the court shall grant divorce on this divorce ground in New Hampshire.

Religious Adherence:

This is a rare ground for divorce in New Hampshire. Under this ground when either party has joined any religious sect or society which acknowledges believing the relation of husband and wife unlawful, and the spouse has refused to cohabit with the other for 6 months together, divorce can be given or obtained.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Divorce Laws

New Hampshire has following divorce laws:


New Hampshire State follows strict residency requirements. If the court finds out that the case does not lie under its jurisdictional rights, the case is dismissed. The residency requirements set by New Hampshire divorce laws are as follows:

  • Both the spouses must be residents of the state for a least 1 year prior to filing.
  • The divorce shall be filed in the county in which either spouse resides.

Documents Required for Filing Divorce

  • Petition for Divorce
  • Decree of Divorce

The above mentioned are the essential documents needed to start and finalize a divorce according to New Hampshire divorce laws.

A few other documents that are typically filed during the process are:

  • Personal Data Sheet
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Notice of Hearing

Distribution of Property

Since New Hampshire is an “equitable distribution” state, the marital property is divided in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is fair. The New Hampshire divorce court encourages the parties to reach a settlement on property and debt issues otherwise the divorce court declares the property award

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

In any divorce proceeding, except an action for legal separation, the divorce court may, when a decree of divorce or nullity is made, restore a former name of the spouse, regardless of whether a request therefore had been included in the petition.

Mediation counseling

New Hampshire divorce court provides both the parties mediation time to decide whether they want dissolution of marriage or not.


New Hampshire courts decision of the obligation of one spouse to support the other is on the basis of different cases’ nature. Not all cases involve support from one spouse to the other. Either the spouses have to finalize the issues or the divorce court decides according to its discretion.

Child Custody

Under New Hampshire divorce laws, State decides whom the custody is to be awarded. Normally those divorces in which minors are involved, the courts take every possible measure to help minimizing the emotional trauma minors may experience. Usually parents are asked to reach to a conclusion if not then the divorce court establishes the custody order at its discretion.

Child Support

Like many other state laws, even in New Hampshire divorce laws, child support is calculated according to the Income Shares Model. This model calculates the support obligation as a percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent who is obligated to support the child.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information of your state.

New Hampshire Annulment Laws

Annulment is the declaration of court that a marriage is void or the marriage never existed. The purpose of divorce and annulment is same i.e. both are used for terminating a marriage. In comparison with divorce it is much difficult to get an annulment because the annulment grounds are few and difficult to prove. Following are the grounds for New Hampshire annulment set by New Hampshire annulment laws.

Same-Sex Marriage

Same sex marriages are not recognized by the New Hampshire marriage laws. Such marriages can be annulled under New Hampshire annulment laws.

Addiction to Drugs

According to New Hampshire annulment laws, if your spouse is involved in habitual intoxication of drugs or liquor like opium, cocaine or morphine, you can obtain annulment.

Mental Incapacity

If your spouse is mentally ill either permanently or partially and the illness is affecting your married life, you have a right to file for annulment under New Hampshire annulment laws.


A marital relationship with a close blood relation is incest i.e. mother-son, father-daughter, uncle-niece, and brother-sister. Such marriages are null and void and can be annulled in New Hampshire.

Physical Disability

If any physical disability in your spouse is hindering you from having a normal married life, you can obtain annulment under New Hampshire annulment laws.

New Hampshire Divorce Laws-Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My spouse does not want to divorce, what should I do?

    There is nothing to worry about because New Hampshire divorce laws allow every spouse to claim a divorce. Though such kind of divorces may take relatively longer time.

  2. What is the minimum time period processing of a divorce in New Hampshire takes?

    The minimum time a New Hampshire divorce takes is 2-4 months. Some divorces may take 6-12 months depending on the complexity of the case.

  3. What is the difference between uncontested and contested divorce?

    It is estimated that more than 90% of the New Hampshire marriages end up in uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is the one in which both the spouses agree upon all the issues i.e. divorce grounds, support, alimony, property division etc. In case of contested divorce, the spouses do not agree on one or more of the forestated issues.

  4. Is there any possibility to get divorce without a divorce lawyer?

    Yes, you can get a divorce without hiring a divorce lawyer. But it should only be done when and if you have vast knowledge of the court procedures and paper works, otherwise you should appoint a divorce attorney.

  5. How much a New Hampshire divorce costs?

    New Hampshire divorce costs about $147 for filing a case. The divorce lawyer fees vary depending on their skills and experience. If your case is simple, i.e. no child or no property is involved; you can hire a divorce lawyer for about $500. Usually a divorce lawyer’s fee ranges from $3,000-$15,000.

  6. How do divorce lawyers charge their fee?

    Most of the divorce lawyers charge their fees on per hour basis, while some have fixed charges for a case.

  7. Suppose my wife and I agree on all the issues and want to hire the same divorce lawyer, can we?

    According to the New Hampshire divorce laws, no divorce lawyer can represent both spouses at the same time. So, you and your wife must hire two different divorce attorneys.

  8. What are the grounds on which New Hampshire divorce becomes legal?

    New Hampshire divorce laws have one no-fault divorce ground which is irreconcilable differences. The major fault divorce grounds in New Hampshire are adultery, extreme cruelty, abandonment and conviction of crime and imprisonment.

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