What are fault grounds?

New Hampshire is a state that recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. The no-fault grounds allege that "irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage." In other words, the parties just cannot get along and there is no hope of fixing the marriage.

New Hampshire recognizes the following fault grounds:

  • 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 two 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.

In order to prevail in the divorce on fault grounds, the party alleging the fault must be an "innocent spouse." For example, a party cannot allege that the breakdown of the marriage was caused by the other parties adultery, when that party contributed to the breakdown by being an habitual drunk. Even if a party does not prove fault grounds, they are still entitled to a divorce based upon irreconcilable differences.

 

 

Trackbacks (3) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
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New Hampshire Family Law Blog - November 24, 2008 4:33 PM
Question: My wife cheated on me and I want to sue her and her new boyfriend for alienation of affections. How do I proceed? Answer: An alienation of affection claim is a lawsuit where a spouse sues a third party...
New Hampshire Family Law Blog - March 26, 2009 6:11 AM
Following up on my post earlier this week regarding the New Hampshire Supreme Court's recent decision in Guy, the Union Leader published an article titled "Email fall short for fault-based divorce." The article includes interesting statistics...
New Hampshire Family Law Blog - May 8, 2009 6:10 AM
With the same-sex marriage bill about come to Governor Lynch’s desk, it is an appropriate time to examine the future of fault grounds in New Hampshire. Currently, New Hampshire has both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Only about 1%...
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