When a marriage faces irreparable issues, divorce may become necessary. Drawing out a divorce can lead to increased stress and emotional turmoil.
In New Hampshire, spouses may try to extend the divorce process in various ways.
Grounds for divorce
The divorce rate in New Hampshire is 2.6 per 1,000 people. Many of these divorces occur on no-fault grounds, but a spouse could use fault to complicate matters and make the divorce take longer.
- No-Fault Divorce: If both spouses agree that their marriage has “irretrievably broken down,” the court can grant a divorce without placing blame on either party
- Fault Divorce: In cases of fault, one spouse alleges that the other has engaged in misconduct, such as adultery, extreme cruelty or abandonment, which caused the breakdown of the marriage
In New Hampshire, one spouse cannot prevent a divorce if the other is seeking a no-fault divorce. If one spouse believes the marriage has irretrievably broken down, the court can grant the divorce even if the other spouse disagrees.
However, if one spouse contests a fault-based divorce, the spouse can deny the allegations or present evidence to challenge the grounds the other party cites. The court will then evaluate the evidence and make a determination.
Other tactics to draw out a divorce include contesting every issue, including property division, child custody and spousal support. This can lead to lengthy court battles and negotiations. Frequent motions, emotional manipulation and a refusal to cooperate are other methods. Dragging out negotiations and seeking continuances can also delay the divorce process.
The reality is that divorce proceedings can be emotionally challenging and legally complex in even the best of cases when no one is trying to intentionally prolong a split.