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New Hampshire Divorce Laws

The dissolution of marriage, more commonly known as divorce, is regulated at the state level. State divorce laws govern what constitutes a legal divorce, which grounds are acceptable for divorce, and the process required to finalize the divorce. Many states also have residency requirements, waiting periods, and/or mandatory legal separation prior to divorce.

Every state now allows "no fault" divorce, in which neither party is held to be responsible for the divorce, often with the stated grounds of "irreconcilable differences." But if one party is imprisoned, a habitual drunkard, a domestic abuser, or otherwise at fault, that may also be grounds for divorce.

Divorce Laws in New Hampshire at a Glance

The state of New Hampshire does not impose a waiting period, but the plaintiff in the divorce must have lived in the state for the past year before filing for divorce. Additional provisions of New Hampshire divorce law are listed in the chart below, including the various grounds for divorce.

See FindLaw's Divorce section for a variety of helpful articles and resources.

Code Section 458 et seq.
Residency Requirements Both parties domiciled or plaintiff was domiciled and defendant was personally served or plaintiff domiciled in state at least 1 yr. before action.
Waiting Period No special provision
'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce Irreconcilable differences; separation (absent 2 yrs.)
Other Grounds for Divorce (Fault)
  • Impotency of either party
  • Adultery of either party
  • Extreme cruelty of either party to the other.
  • Conviction of either party, in any state or federal district, of a crime punishable with imprisonment for more than one year and actual imprisonment under such conviction.
  • When either party has so treated the other as seriously to injure health or endanger reason.
  • When either party has been absent 2 years together, and has not been heard of.
  • When either party is an habitual drunkard, and has been such for 2 years together.
  • When either party has joined any religious sect or society which professes to believe the relation of husband and wife unlawful, and has refused to cohabit with the other for 6 months together.
  • When either party, without sufficient cause, and without the consent of the other, has abandoned and refused, for 2 years together, to cohabit with the other.
Defenses to a Divorce Filing Common law defenses: condonation, connivance, recrimination (insanity is a factor, but not a defense)

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through judicial action, the enactment of new legislation, and other means. You may want to contact a New Hampshire divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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New Hampshire Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Have Questions About How New Hampshire Divorce Laws Apply to You? Ask an Attorney

As you're moving down the path towards a divorce from your spouse, you'll want to have as much information about the divorce process in New Hampshire as possible. If you have questions about how divorce can impact custody of your children, spousal support payments, or how to divide marital assets, now is the time to contact a divorce attorney in New Hampshire. An attorney can not only answer your questions, but can also file the necessary paperwork and guide you through the divorce process.

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