New Hampshire Divorce Laws

New Hampshire Divorce Requirements

The United States requires an individual to file for divorce in his or her county of residency. Residency requirements are different in each state and are mandatory to be met before a divorce can be petitioned.

New Hampshire Divorce In New Hampshire an individual is required to be a state resident for at least one year before filing for divorce. New Hampshire also states that if the individuals filing for divorce reside in different New Hampshire counties, either spouse may petition for divorce in his or her county, according to New Hampshire Statutes Chapters 454.6, 458.6, and 458.9.

Grounds for Divorce Filing

Each state also has different requirements for which grounds a divorce can be filed. Grounds for divorce state the reason or reasons why individuals request a divorce. The grounds for divorce must be legal in the state of New Hampshire in order for them to be petitioned.

Two individuals may decide upon divorcing grounds and present them to the court or one individual may present the divorcing grounds but will be required to prove the grounds before the court.

New Hampshire has two categories of divorcing grounds. The first is called No-Fault grounds where no particular individual is held responsible for the marriage’s dissolution. Under this category is the grounds of irreconcilable difference that state that the marriage is beyond retrieve and is permanently broken.

The second grounds for divorce in New Hampshire is called Fault grounds where one individual is responsible for the marriage’s dissolution. This category includes adultery by either spouse, impotency by either spouse, extreme cruelty by either spouse towards the other spouse, conviction resulting in imprisonment for a year or more, the causing of serious injury or endangerment, absence by either spouse for at least two years, habitual drunken behavior for a minimum of two years, and abandonment for a minimum of two years without cohabitation.

New Hampshire also possesses one Fault ground that no other state possesses. This ground states that divorce is legal when one individual joins a religious organization or other society that believes marriage to be illegal and refuses to cohabitate with the other for a minimum of six months.

Filing with the Court in New Hampshire

You must file your New Hampshire divorce papers in the court located in the County where you presently reside. We will provide the court information in the documents that we send to you, but some of the courts in New Hampshire are listed below:

  • Merrimack County Superior Court:
    163 North Main Street, P.O. Box 2880, Concord, NH 03302-2880 Phone: (603) 225-5501
  • Hillsborough County Superior Court North:
    300 Chestnut Street, Manchester, NH 03101 Phone: (603) 669-7410
  • Strafford County Superior Court:
    279 County Farm Road, P.O. Box 799, Dover, NH 03820-0799 Phone: (603) 742-3065
  • Rockingham County Superior Court:
    10 Route 125, Brentwood, NH Phone: (603) 642-5256

If your County court is not listed, the information for your court will be included in the divorce papers we send you.

Divorcing Documents

Certain documents are required in New Hampshire divorces and can include nearly two dozen different forms. These can include a Petition for Divorce and Decree of Divorce, a Financial Affidavit, a Personal Data Sheet, and a Notice of Hearing form. All these forms will be filed to the county clerk’s office where they will then be maintained until otherwise needed.

Distributing Property

New Hampshire is considered an equitable distribution state where all the property acquired through the marriage is to be separated fairly. Unlike other states, equitable distribution states require that the property be distributed fairly based on the individual’s status, rather than equally.

If the individuals involved cannot determine who shall claim with property, the court will award the necessary property. The court will consider who has custody of any children, the employment of the individuals, the economic statuses of the individuals, and other factors.


Common questions about divorce laws in New Hampshire often cover several key areas. Here are some frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers:

What are the Grounds for Divorce in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire allows both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce. No-fault grounds typically include irreconcilable differences, while fault-based grounds could involve adultery, abandonment, impotence, extreme cruelty, or substance abuse.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in New Hampshire?

The time required to finalize a divorce in New Hampshire varies based on court schedules, the complexity of the case, and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. Generally, it can take several months to over a year.

How Is Property Divided in a Divorce in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire follows the principle of equitable distribution. Marital property and debts are divided fairly, though not necessarily equally, based on various factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial situation, and their contributions during the marriage.

Does New Hampshire Have Alimony (Spousal Support)?

Yes, New Hampshire allows for spousal support. The court may award temporary or long-term support based on factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial situation, and their contributions during the marriage.

How Does New Hampshire Handle Child Custody and Support?

Child custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the child. New Hampshire courts consider various factors including the child’s relationship with each parent, the parents’ ability to provide for the child, and the child’s wishes (if they’re of sufficient age). Child support is determined using the New Hampshire Child Support Guidelines.

Do We Need to Go to Court for a Divorce in New Hampshire?

If both parties can agree on all terms of the divorce, they might not need to go to court. Uncontested divorces can often be settled through paperwork and negotiation outside of court. However, if disputes persist, a court appearance might be necessary.

Can I Modify a Divorce Decree in New Hampshire?

Modifications to child support, child custody, or spousal support are possible under certain circumstances if there’s a substantial change in circumstances. Legal procedures are typically required for modifications.

These questions cover some of the common concerns individuals have when dealing with divorce in New Hampshire. However, specifics can vary based on each unique situation. It’s often advisable to seek legal counsel to address individual circumstances and get accurate guidance through the divorce process.

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