NH is not the "Easiest" State to get a Divorce

Somehow New Hampshire has been the topic of several "easiest states to get divorced" internet articles. I hope maybe this will find it's way into Google search results and clear up some misinformation.

Many articles like this 2011 Bloomberg News story (The Best and Worst States for Getting Divorced) suggest that almost anyone can get a divorce in NH. The article states that New Hampshire is the best state for getting a divorce and there is no waiting period. To quote the author, "You can't stay in a hotel for one night and go home single the next, but getting divorced in New Hampshire is almost that easy."

While getting divorced in NH is easier than most states, it's not something that a non New Hampshire residence can use for a "quickie divorce."

For a NH court to grant a divorce, it must have jurisdiction over the parties as defined in RSA 458:5. This statute reads:

458:5 Over Parties. – Jurisdiction of the parties exists in the following cases only:
I. Where both parties were domiciled in the state when the action was commenced.
II. Where the plaintiff was so domiciled and the defendant was personally served with process within the state.
III. Where the plaintiff was domiciled in the state for one year next preceding the time when the action was commenced.
Where the domiciled plaintiff has filed a petition, the non-domiciled defendant may have affirmative relief upon filing a cross petition.

Every option for satisfying the statute requires that at least the plaintiff be domiciled in New Hampshire. A domicile is establish in NH when you make the state your permanent home. So it's true that a couple could move to New Hampshire and file for divorce that day, because they have made NH their home. However, a couple can not merely visit NH (as many articles suggest) and file for divorce. You must move here with the intention of making NH your permanent home.

If you live in New Hampshire and would like to consult Attorney Reardon, a NH divorce attorney, please contact him for a free consultation.


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