Divorce Law: Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire
|Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire||Description|
|Irreconcilable differences||This is the most common reason for divorce in New Hampshire. It means that the couple has experienced a breakdown in their marriage that cannot be resolved.|
|Adultery||If one spouse has engaged in extramarital affairs, the other spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of adultery.|
|Extreme cruelty||If one spouse has engaged in physical or mental cruelty towards the other, the victim spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty.|
|Imprisonment||If one spouse is sentenced to imprisonment for more than one year, the other spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of imprisonment.|
|Desertion||If one spouse has abandoned the other for at least two years, the abandoned spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of desertion.|
|Alcoholism or drug addiction||If one spouse is addicted to drugs or alcohol and the addiction has caused a breakdown in the marriage, the other spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of alcoholism or drug addiction.|
Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire
- Adultery: If one spouse engages in extramarital affairs, the other spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
- Extreme cruelty: This ground is established if one spouse has inflicted physical or emotional harm on the other to such an extent that it makes continued living together intolerable.
- Impotence: If either party is impotent at the time of marriage and was unknown by their partner, it may be used as a ground for annulment or divorce.
- Habitual drunkenness or substance abuse: This applies when alcoholism or drug addiction is deemed to be causing significant marital problems.
- Neglect and abandonment: One party leaving and refusing to return home after six months could give rise to this ground
New Hampshire also recognizes “no-fault” divorces based on irreconcilable differences between spouses. However, unlike some states which mandate separation periods prior to granting no-fault divorces, New Hampshire allows couples who agree on all issues related to their separation (such as child custody arrangements and property division) to obtain a no-fault divorce without waiting periods.
Introduction to Grounds for Divorce
In addition to these fault-based grounds, New Hampshire also recognizes no-fault divorces based on “irreconcilable differences.” This means that neither party needs to prove fault or wrongdoing on the part of their spouse. Instead, they only need to show that they have significant differences which have led them towards seeking a dissolution of their marriage.
Definition of Grounds for Divorce
Fault-based grounds require one spouse to prove that the other has engaged in some sort of wrongdoing or misconduct which caused significant harm or disruption to the marriage. On the other hand, no-fault divorces simply acknowledge that spouses have grown apart and are no longer able to reconcile their differences.
It is important for couples seeking divorce in New Hampshire to understand these different types of grounds so they can choose the most appropriate approach based on their circumstances. While fault-based divorces can provide a sense of closure and validation for spouses who have been wronged, they often involve more complex legal proceedings and may take longer than no-fault divorces.
Importance of Grounds for Divorce
Understanding the different grounds for divorce in New Hampshire is important for couples who are considering ending their marriage. It can help them determine which approach is best suited to their situation and ensure that they navigate the legal process as smoothly as possible.
The grounds for divorce can also have a significant impact on other aspects of the dissolution process, such as property division and spousal support. In fault-based divorces, one spouse may be entitled to a greater share of marital assets or alimony if they were wronged by their partner’s misconduct. Conversely, in no-fault divorces based on irreconcilable differences, property division will generally be determined by an equitable distribution standard regardless of who initiated the split.
No-Fault Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire
No-fault divorce grounds in New Hampshire are based on the concept of irreconcilable differences. This means that neither party needs to prove fault or wrongdoing on the part of their spouse. Instead, they only need to show that there are significant differences between them which have led them towards seeking a dissolution of their marriage.
Some important things to note about no-fault divorces in New Hampshire include:
- The process may be quicker and less expensive than filing for fault-based divorce
- If both spouses agree on all issues related to the divorce (such as child custody arrangements and property division), they may be able to obtain a no-fault divorce without waiting periods.
- If there is disagreement on any issue, however, then it might be necessary to litigate those issues in court which can prolong the proceedings and increase costs.
Unlike fault-based grounds for divorce which require one party to prove wrongdoing on the part of the other, irreconcilable differences only require that one or both parties feel they can no longer continue with the marriage. Essentially, it means that there is no hope for reconciliation or repairing the relationship.
If you are considering filing for divorce based on irreconcilable differences in New Hampshire, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process and help ensure your rights are protected. Your attorney will assist you in negotiating a settlement agreement with your spouse which addresses issues such as child custody and property division so that the divorce proceedings can be completed as efficiently and amicably as possible.
Definition of Irreconcilable Differences
- Disagreements about how to raise children
- Differing financial goals or habits
- Incompatible personalities or lifestyles
- Lack of intimacy or communication in the relationship
New Hampshire law recognizes that these types of issues can be just as detrimental to a marriage as any fault-based ground for divorce. By allowing couples to file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences, the state aims to make the process less adversarial and more focused on finding mutually agreeable solutions.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Irreconcilable Differences
It is important for couples considering divorce in New Hampshire to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help them understand their legal options and navigate the complex process of dissolving a marriage. By working with an attorney, couples can ensure that their rights are protected throughout the proceedings and that they receive a fair settlement based on their unique circumstances.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Irreconcilable Differences
It’s important for couples considering divorce based on irreconcilable differences in New Hampshire to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance throughout each step of this process.
In addition to grounds for divorce, New Hampshire also has specific requirements related to separation before a divorce can be granted.
If spouses have lived separately and apart without cohabitation (meaning they do not live together as husband and wife) for at least two years, this can serve as grounds for a no-fault divorce. Alternatively, if both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken down and have executed a written agreement which resolves all of their issues such as child custody arrangements, property division etc., then they may seek a no-fault divorce without waiting period based on irreconcilable differences.
If one spouse leaves the marital home without good cause or refuses to engage in sexual relations with the other party for six months or more, this could serve as grounds for fault-based divorce on neglect or desertion charges respectively.
Definition of Separation
However, it is important to note that separation does not always mean physical separation. In some cases, couples may continue living under the same roof but lead separate lives. For example, they may sleep in different rooms or have separate finances and social circles.
To meet the requirements for a no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences in New Hampshire, spouses must show that:
- They have been living apart continuously without cohabitation (either sexual or non-sexual) for at least two years prior to filing their divorce petition; OR
- They have been living apart continuously without cohabitation (either sexual or non-sexual) for at least one year prior to filing their divorce petition AND submit a written agreement resolving all issues related to child custody/support and property division.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Separation
- The spouses must have been living apart continuously for at least two years before filing for divorce
- Both parties must agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and cannot be salvaged
- There can be no reasonable prospect of reconciliation between the spouses
- All issues related to property division, alimony, child custody and support must be agreed upon in writing prior to filing for divorce
If these criteria are met, both parties may jointly file a petition with the court seeking an uncontested divorce. This streamlined process is typically quicker and less expensive than fault-based divorces or those involving contested issues.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Separation
- Living separately: Spouses must live apart from each other continuously for at least two years before they can file for divorce based on separation.
- Agreeing to terms: Before filing, both parties must agree on all issues related to their separation, including child custody arrangements, property division and spousal support.
- Filing paperwork: After meeting the residency requirements (one or both parties must have lived in New Hampshire for at least one year), the petitioner files a petition with the court clerk’s office requesting a final decree of divorce.
The respondent has 30 days to respond after being served with notice of the petition. If there are no objections, or if both parties reach an agreement during mediation or negotiations outside of court, then a judge will issue a final decree of divorce. If there are disputes over any key issues related to the separation and agreement cannot be reached through negotiation or mediation, it may be necessary to go through formal hearings and trials before obtaining a final decision from the court.
Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire
Fault-based divorces can be more complicated than no-fault ones since they require proof and evidence regarding your claims against your spouse’s conduct. For this reason, it is essential you seek legal advice before pursuing a fault-based divorce case so you understand how much time and money it might take from start to finish.
Adultery is one of the most common grounds for divorce in New Hampshire. It is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse.
In order to prove adultery, the filing spouse must provide evidence that shows:
- Their partner had sexual relations with someone else
- Their partner had the opportunity and inclination to engage in those activities
- The conduct would lead a reasonable person to believe that an affair was taking place
If successful, this ground can be used to obtain a divorce on fault-based grounds, which could affect issues such as alimony payments or property division. However, proving adultery can be difficult and may require hiring private investigators or gathering other types of evidence.
Definition of Adultery
If these elements can be established, then adultery may be used as grounds for divorce. However, it’s important to note that proving adultery can often be challenging and may require significant resources such as private investigators or forensic accountants.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Adultery
It’s important to note that although proving adultery may provide some satisfaction, it can also be emotionally challenging and legally complex. A skilled attorney can help spouses navigate this process and determine if pursuing a fault-based divorce on these grounds is in their best interest.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Adultery
It’s important for anyone considering filing for divorce based on adultery in New Hampshire to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can guide them through this complex process and help protect their interests throughout proceedings.
Impotence is one of the fault-based grounds for divorce in New Hampshire. It refers to a physical incapacity to engage in sexual intercourse, which was unknown by the other spouse at the time of marriage. This ground can be used as a basis for an annulment or divorce.
It is important to note that impotence must have existed at the time of marriage and not developed subsequently. The burden of proof lies with the party alleging impotence, and medical evidence may be required.
In cases where impotence is established, New Hampshire law provides for equitable distribution of property and assets as well as child support if there are minor children involved.
Definition of Impotence
Impotence is one of the less common grounds for divorce in New Hampshire, but it can be used to either seek a divorce or an annulment. In order to qualify as impotent under New Hampshire law, the condition must have existed at the time of marriage and must have been unknown to the other spouse.
New Hampshire courts generally define impotence as “the inability of a party to consummate their marriage by sexual intercourse.” This means that if one partner cannot physically engage in sexual activity, and this problem was not disclosed prior to getting married, then impotence may be used as grounds for an annulment or divorce.
It’s worth noting that while impotence is listed as a ground for divorce in New Hampshire, it is rarely invoked due to advances in medical technology which make treatment more accessible than ever before. Couples facing issues related to physical intimacy are often encouraged to explore all possible options with their healthcare providers before pursuing legal action.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Impotence
If all these criteria are satisfied, then a party may file for an annulment or divorce on the grounds of impotence. It is important to note that proving impotence can be a sensitive and complex matter, so it’s best to consult with an experienced family law attorney.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Impotence
- The impotence was present at the time of marriage
- The other spouse was unaware of the impotence prior to getting married
In order to file for divorce based on impotence, couples will need to follow these steps:
- Hire an experienced family law attorney who can guide them through the legal process and help them gather evidence to support their case.
- File a petition with the court requesting a divorce based on impotence. The petition should include details about why this ground is being used and any evidence that supports it.
- Serve notice of the petition and hearing date upon your spouse or partner, giving him or her sufficient time (usually 30 days) to respond.
- If no response is made within 30 days, you may proceed with default judgment against your spouse or partner.
If both parties agree on all aspects related to their separation such as child custody arrangements and property division, then they can obtain a no-fault divorce without waiting periods by filing jointly.
In order to file for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty in New Hampshire, spouses must be able to provide evidence that they have been subjected to such behavior by their partner. This can include testimony from witnesses as well as medical records documenting any injuries sustained during incidents of physical abuse.
Definition of Extreme Cruelty
- Is abusive or violent
- Makes living together intolerable
- Involves emotional or psychological abuse such as constant criticism and belittling behavior.
Examples of extreme cruelty might include physical assaults, threatening behavior towards a spouse or children, severe verbal abuse, and refusing to provide basic needs like food and shelter. It’s important for anyone seeking a divorce on these grounds to document instances of extreme cruelty with specific dates and details whenever possible.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Extreme Cruelty
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, pushing, or slapping
- Verbal abuse, including insults and threats
- Emotional abuse, such as gaslighting or manipulating one’s emotions to gain control
- Social isolation by preventing the victim from seeing friends or family members
- Neglecting basic needs like food and medical care
In addition to providing evidence of these behaviors in court proceedings, it is important for victims of extreme cruelty to take steps to protect themselves during the divorce process. This may involve obtaining restraining orders against their abuser and working with experienced legal professionals who can help ensure they receive a fair settlement.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Extreme Cruelty
Your spouse will then have 30 days from being served to respond to your complaint. If they do not respond within this time frame, you may be able to obtain a default judgment which grants your requested relief. Alternatively, if your spouse contests any aspects of the divorce proceedings (such as child custody or property division), it may be necessary to engage in mediation or litigation before reaching a final resolution.
Desertion is one of the fault-based grounds for divorce in New Hampshire. This ground applies when one spouse deserts or abandons the other without a justifiable reason, such as domestic violence.
In order to prove desertion, the following elements must be established:
- The abandonment was intentional and without consent of the other spouse
- The abandonment lasted for at least two years prior to filing for divorce
- The party seeking divorce did not contribute to or cause the desertion
If these elements are met, then desertion can be used as a basis for obtaining a fault-based divorce in New Hampshire. It’s important to note that proving desertion can be challenging and requires sufficient evidence to support your claim.
Definition of Desertion
If these criteria are met, then a deserted party may file for divorce on grounds of desertion. It’s worth noting that if both spouses mutually agree to separate and live apart (even if only one physically moves out), this would not constitute desertion under New Hampshire law since it wasn’t done voluntarily nor unjustified.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Desertion
If these criteria are met, then the deserted spouse may file for divorce on those grounds. It is important to note that desertion does not require physical abandonment; emotional or psychological abandonment can also be considered as valid grounds for a divorce.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Desertion
If a spouse has been deserted by their partner for at least six months, they may file for divorce on the grounds of neglect or abandonment. Here is an overview of the process of filing for divorce based on desertion in New Hampshire:
- Consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options and determine if this ground is appropriate in your case.
- Gather evidence to support your claim that your spouse has deserted you, such as emails, text messages or witness statements.
- Complete the necessary forms and submit them to the court clerk’s office along with any required fees.
- Serve your spouse with a copy of the divorce petition and summons either through personal service or certified mail
- Your spouse will then have 30 days to respond after being served. If they fail to do so, you can request a default judgment from the court.
- Frequent blackouts or memory loss due to drinking
- Neglecting responsibilities such as work, childcare, or household duties due to alcohol use
- Driving under the influence (DUI) charges or other legal problems related to drinking
- Deteriorating physical health and/or interpersonal relationships as a result of alcoholism
If you are considering using habitual drunkenness as grounds for your divorce in New Hampshire, it’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you build a strong case based on clear evidence.
Definition of Habitual Drunkenness
If these requirements are met, then it may be possible for one party to file for divorce on grounds of habitual drunkenness. However, because this ground can be challenging to prove, it is important that anyone seeking a divorce based on this ground consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help them navigate through this complex legal process.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Habitual Drunkenness
It is important to note that simply having one or two instances of excessive drinking or drug use may not meet the legal threshold for this ground. Additionally, evidence such as police reports, medical records and witness statements may need to be presented in court to prove habitual drunkenness.
As with any fault-based divorce grounds, it is recommended that individuals consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide them through the process and ensure their rights are protected throughout proceedings.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Habitual Drunkenness
If both parties are unable to agree on terms such as child custody arrangements and asset division after going through mediation sessions,the case may go before a judge. It’s important for individuals seeking this type of divorce to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help them navigate New Hampshire’s legal system effectively.
If you are experiencing any form of physical or emotional abuse in your marriage, know that there are legal options available to you. Some grounds for divorce that relate specifically to abusive situations include:
- Extreme cruelty
- Habitual drunkenness or substance abuse
In these types of cases, working with an experienced divorce lawyer who has experience handling complex and sensitive situations can be essential in protecting your rights and ensuring that you receive the support you need during this difficult time.
Definition of Abuse
If you are experiencing any form of abuse in your marriage, it is important to seek help immediately. You can contact local domestic violence organizations for support and resources. In addition to helping you stay safe, documenting incidents of abuse may also be useful if you decide to pursue a fault-based divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty.
Criteria for Filing for Divorce Based on Abuse
If these criteria are met, the abused spouse may file for a fault-based divorce on grounds of extreme cruelty. In addition to granting the divorce, a judge may also issue restraining orders or other protective measures to ensure the safety of both parties and any children involved.
Process of Filing for Divorce Based on Abuse
Once all forms have been submitted along with appropriate fees ($225 filing fee), the court will issue an automatic temporary injunction that prohibits both spouses from engaging in certain actions such as selling property or changing insurance policies without prior written consent from the other party. A final hearing will be scheduled within 90 days after service on your spouse; at this hearing you’ll present your evidence regarding “extreme cruelty.” If successful in proving that ground, spousal support or alimony payments could be ordered by the judge depending on individual circumstances.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire
Couples should also be aware that even if they choose to file for divorce on fault-based grounds, it is still possible to reach an agreement with their spouse outside of court. This can help minimize conflict and allow both parties to move forward amicably.
In general, it is recommended that individuals seeking divorce in New Hampshire consult with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance and support throughout the process. An attorney can help assess the merits of different types of grounds for divorce based on individual circumstances, explain how each option might impact proceedings like asset division or spousal support payments, and advocate effectively during legal proceedings as needed.
It is also important to approach divorce proceedings with a clear head and understanding of what lies ahead. Consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in New Hampshire divorce law can help provide guidance through this complex process.
In addition to dividing property between spouses, the court may also award alimony or spousal support if one party is deemed to require it. Alimony payments are typically made on a monthly basis for a set period of time or until certain conditions are met (such as remarriage). The amount and duration of alimony payments depend on several factors such as each spouse’s income level and earning potential at present and in future years.
It is important for couples going through a divorce in New Hampshire to seek legal counsel from an experienced family law attorney who can help them navigate these complex legal processes and ensure that their rights and interests are protected throughout every stage of the proceedings. With proper guidance, couples can work towards achieving an amicable resolution while still protecting their financial security and emotional well-being.
Divorce is a difficult and emotional process, but understanding the grounds for divorce in New Hampshire can help make it easier. Couples should be aware of their options and consider speaking with an experienced divorce attorney to determine the best course of action.
Ultimately, whether spouses choose to pursue a fault-based or no-fault divorce will depend on factors such as the extent of wrongdoing by one spouse, any evidence that may support these claims, and how willing both parties are to work together towards an amicable separation.
No matter what grounds for divorce are being used, it is important for both parties to approach this process with care and respect. Divorce can be painful for everyone involved, but there are resources available which can help couples navigate this challenging time while protecting their rights and interests.
FAQ on ‘Divorce Law: Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire’
Can I file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences?
Yes, New Hampshire recognizes irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce. However, it must be shown that these differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Do I need to provide proof of fault to get a divorce?
No, New Hampshire is a no-fault state which means that you do not need to provide proof of fault to get a divorce based on irreconcilable differences.
How long does it take to get a divorce in New Hampshire?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce in New Hampshire depends on various factors such as whether there are contested issues or not. If there are no contested issues and both parties agree on all terms, an uncontested divorce can be finalized in as little as a few weeks. However, if there are contested issues such as child custody or property division, it may take several months or even longer.
Do I need an attorney to file for divorce in New Hampshire?
No, you do not need an attorney to file for divorce in New Hampshire. However, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel especially if there are contested issues involved.