98% of New Hampshire divorces are based on "no-fault"

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 on divorce in New Hampshire based on records from the New Hampshire Division of Vital Statistics Records Administration that shows that 98% of divorces are granted for "no-fault."

  2000 2004 2008
Total Divorces 5,970 5,106 4,913
Irreconcilable Differences 5,920 5,042 4,847
Adultery 26 19 27
Extreme Cruelty 7 9 9
Abandonment 2 1 10

 

 

 

 

As the statistics show, most cases are based on "no-fault" or irreconcilable differences. In 2008, out of 4,913 divorces, only 66 were based on fault grounds (the top three being adultery, extreme cruelty, abandonment). One cause of the low rate of fault ground divorces is that most cases settle before trial and the parties agree to divorce based on irreconcilable differences. 

Additionally, even where fault grounds exist, some parties choose not to pursue them for several factors. Alleging fault grounds can dramatically increase the cost, length, and stress involved in a divorce. When deciding whether to file for fault grounds, it is important to consider the reason for seeking the fault grounds, what the fault grounds will accomplish and whether it will damage a co-parenting relationship.

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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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