This topic usually comes up at the Law Library when people ask us if New Hampshire is a community property state, referring to the division, or distribution, of property in divorces. The answer is, no, it isn't; New Hampshire is an “equitable division” state. New Hampshire RSA 458:16-a II says that during a divorce, the court may order an equitable division of property between spouses. "Equitable" does not necessarily mean "equal." The court may presume that an equal division is an equitable distribution of property, but the court may decide instead that an equitable division would not be appropriate and may divide property in another way based on many factors listed in the statute. Those factors include the duration of the marriage, the age, social or economic status of each party, the occupation and ability of the custodial parent to also be employed, fault of either party leading to the breakdown of the marriage, and “any other factor that the court deems relevant.” (RSA 458:16-a II (o). RSA 458:16-a IV also requires the court to give written reasons for the division of property which it orders.
Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.