New Hampshire Divorce Laws 1

Divorce Law Basics in the State of New Hampshire

Also See: New Hampshire Marriage Laws

Statute: New Hampshire State Divorce Code (Title XLIII, Chapter 458)

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Irretreivable breakdown

At-Fault Grounds:

  • Impotency
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Conviction of a crime and imprisonment for a term more than one year
  • Behavoir that endangers the health or reason of the other party
  • Desertion and abandonment for at least two years
  • Habitual abuse of alcohol for at least two years
  • Membership in a religious cult and the belief that the relation between husband and wife is unlawful and refusal to cohabitate for at least six months

Residency: Both parties must be a resident of the state for at least one year prior to filing or the grounds for divorce occurred in the state and one of the parties has been a resident for at least one year prior to filing.

Legal Separation Recognized? Yes. Legal separation can be converted to divorce decree by motion.

Counseling Requirements: The court shall require the parties to attend mediation if it appears that reconciliation is possible; the court shall also order the parties to attend parenting education classes if a minor child is involved.

Property Distribution: New Hampshire relies on “equitable distribution” so the court will distribute the marital property “in an equitable manner” if the parties can’t agree on their own. Separate property (property acquired prior to the marriage, as a gift or through inheritance) is not included in property distribution.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party if the motion is filed within five years of the divorce decree and the court finds sufficient grounds to award spousal support.


  • Jose H.

    I purchaced a home while married to my present wife. I used only money recieved thru a sale of my original home as my children became emancapated. The divorce agreement was exucuted before I knew this woman. I recieved the check while married to her. Now, after seven years of marrige, we are divorcing. Please tell me if she has any right to ownership. She has signed over her Homestead Rights and I was told that it was recorded, with the deed. We have no kids together and I paid all home bills since 2004. She has not worked to help improve the home. I needed to refinance to replace windows and siding since the siding had been painted over moist masonite by a previous owner. She gets a small pension from a deceased husband and it seems like it all goes to her family birthdays and other gifts and functions. She moved 1000 miles away from her hometown to live in my Condo with the promise of marrige by me. She arrived nearly pennieless with a few belongings, that I paid to ship and also paid her plane fare. Thank you, Jose