Effective January 1, 2008, New Hampshire recognized the civil union of same-sex couples. On January 1, 2010, New Hampshire amended the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and repealed the civil union law. Consequently, same-sex couples who entered into a civil union are now considered married under New Hampshire law.
It follows that marriages between same-sex couples are dissolved through New Hampshire divorce law. However, a complicating factor in same-sex divorce cases is that federal law does not recognize same-sex marriages as valid. Special consideration therefore needs to be given to federal tax, health insurance and retirement benefit issues in same-sex divorce cases.
“The decisions made in a same-sex divorce case have long term personal and financial consequences. Todd Stevens will help you understand your rights and set realistic expectations.”
There are two types of divorce in New Hampshire; fault and no-fault.
In a fault divorce, one party alleges that a statutorily defined “fault” cause the breakdown of the same-sex marriage. While there are benefits to pursuing a fault-based divorce, these are usually outweighed by the acrimony, cost and negative effect on children which characterize this type of divorce.
In no-fault divorce, the cause of the marital breakdown is “irreconcilable differences … which caused the irremediable breakdown of the the civil union.” Fault is not considered in this type of divorce and evidence of each party’s misconduct is relevant only to the extent it impacts a parenting issue.
Contact the New Hampshire Divorce Lawyers and New Hampshire Divorce Attorneys at the T.W. Stevens Law Firm. We achieve the best possible results for our clients in same-sex divorce cases.