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New Hampshire Divorce Custody


New Hampshire divorce custody cases follow specific guidelines which are based on the premise that the best interests of the child should not be compromised. NH Child custody guidelines have been summarized here:
  • Gender of the parent who gets the custody of the child is insignificant in the eyes of NH courts. Both the divorced spouses have equal chances of getting the custody of the child in such a scenario and the judgment is purely unbiased.

  • The actual wishes of the child and the interests of the parents regarding child care are considered by the courts. Judges try to analyze the emotional, educational, medical and other needs of the child and try to determine which parent can “fit the bill”.

  • Child custody is preferably awarded to the parent with whom the child is most emotionally bonded. Financial condition of the parent is no longer considered important because child support is extended to the child.

  • Courts handling child custody cases also attempt to determine which parent respects the relationship between his/her child with the other parent. Even if that parent has been the primary caretaker of the child, but is likely to alienate the child form the other parent out of jealousy or to avenge oneself, judges do not award the custody to that parent.

  • Physical and mental well-being of the custodial parent is important factors which guide judges while awarding custody. NH divorce custody laws specify that if a parent is physically unfit or has some mental ailment, then he/she does not get the custody of the child.

  • Judges prefer awarding joint custody to ensure that the child gets the benefits of being in aegis of both the parents despite the divorce. Such custody is awarded if both the parents show a willingness to cooperate with each other in matters related to child care.

  • For all practical purposes, the physical custody of the child is awarded to the primary caretaker and the other parent gets the visitation rights. These rights authorize the non-custodial parent to have access to the child’s time wither in weekends, daily routine or in vacations and holidays.

  • Legal decision-making on important matters such as education, schooling, religion and medical matters may be jointly shred by both the parents and this becomes joint legal custody.

  • However, joint custody is not preferred if a parent has a history of child neglect, or child abuse or domestic violence, physical brutality etc. In the last two cases, custody issues get more complicated if the child is not the victim but is a witness. In such cases, the non-custodial parent may have limited visitation rights which are to be supervised by a third person. If the visits of the non-custodial parent are found to be detrimental to the child, then that parent may be asked to only extend child support and his/her visitation rights would be forfeited. In such cases, sole custody of the child is awarded by the courts.

  • Child support is again an important matter that needs to be extended by the custodial as well as the non-custodial parents. Child support is the amount of financial support that the parents need to provide to meet the financial requirements of the child. According to NH child support laws, this support is calculated on “income share model” and the final figure depends on the age of the child, the number of children, special needs of the child and other obligations of the parents , if any.


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