Can I get a “fault divorce” in New Hampshire?

Yes. New Hampshire has traditionally been a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that neither party is obligated to show that their spouse is at fault for the divorce. However, a fault divorce is still obtainable if one spouse desires to prove that the other is responsible for ruining the marriage. As a result, a fault divorce is more expensive and more difficult to obtain, but there are some reasons to consider why one would want to take this less-traveled route.

Why would a spouse want to file for a fault divorce?

If a spouse is found to be at fault for the divorce, there could be the potential strategic advantages for the innocent spouse, such as:

  • Payment of a higher amount of alimony, or denied lower alimony to the at fault spouse
  • Greater percentage of marital assets

What are justifiable grounds for a fault divorce?

The following are some reasons that a court might consider a fault divorce in New Hampshire:

  • Adultery or impotency by either party
  • Abandonment of spouse or refusal to cohabitate for at least two years
  • Joining a cult, religious sect or society that encourages spousal neglect, abuse, or abandonment
  • Physical, mental or emotional abuse
  • A criminal conviction leading to incarceration for over one year
  • Drug or alcohol abuse and/or untreated addiction for at least two years

Before spending the extra time and money in attempting to get a fault divorce, it can be wise to consult with an attorney that has considerable experience navigating New Hampshire family law and divorce statutes.