New Hampshire's Marriage & Eviction Laws

By Jim Thomas

Marriage and eviction laws in New Hampshire collide when a wife or husband wants to evict the other spouse, either during a marriage or when the couple is in divorce proceedings. In general, states, including New Hampshire, do not require one spouse to leave if the other files for divorce. However, abuse by a spouse can result in eviction in the form of restraining orders from the court that can be temporary or permanent.

New Hampshire Eviction Law

New Hampshire is one of only two states that requires landlords to show just cause to evict a tenant. As the New Hampshire Legal Aid Society explains, just cause includes nonpayment of rent or damage done to the property by the tenant. However, there are certain situations in which one spouse can evict the other under New Hampshire law.

Divorce Proceedings

If you and your spouse are both on the deed to the house, or on the lease to an apartment, you can't easily evict him. Even if one spouse has moved out, he still has the right to re-enter in most situations. Changing the locks, for example, would be a violation of your spouse's rights unless you can show he is abusive or a court has barred him from the home for other reasons. If you divorce in New Hampshire, a division of property is part of the legal proceedings. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can work out your own agreement through mediation. If you can't agree, the court will order a division of assets. Either way, if one party is granted possession of a house or apartment during a divorce settlement, the other party will have to leave.

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Temporary Protective Orders

If your spouse abuses you, you can seek civil protection orders from the court. A temporary protection order bars the abusive spouse from entering the premises except when accompanied by a police officer for the sole purpose of removing personal property, such as medications and clothes.

Permanent Protective Orders

A final protection order offers "such relief as is necessary to bring about a cessation of abuse." The abusing spouse will be barred from the premises unless accompanied by a police officer. Protective orders do not affect the ownership of the residence if you own it jointly. They restrict the possession and use of the property to the spouse who is abused, thereby effectively evicting the abuser.

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