NH Law About... Child Custody and Visitation

Introduction to... Child Custody and Visitation

Posted May 21, 2014. Revised May 1, 2015; February 7, 2017.

Although many parents handle custody and visitation (a.k.a. parental rights and responsibilities) themselves, this is a complex area of the law and is complicated to research. There are state, federal, and even international laws regarding child custody and visitation which, in some circumstances, must be read together in order to get a clear picture. Even if research is focused only on New Hampshire law, there is an interconnected web of New Hampshire statutes and case law that may apply.

Because this is such a complicated area to research, it is very important to try and direct researchers to secondary sources (resources about the law) first, rather than diving straight into cases or statutes. Sources such as Douglas on Family Law and A Practical Guide to Divorce in New Hampshire have in-depth discussions of child custody and visitation and will refer readers to the important laws in this area. Many public libraries around the state have these two titles and will lend them through Interlibrary Loan. If patrons insist on starting their research with primary sources (i.e. cases, statutes, and regulations), try to steer them to the print version of the Revised Statutes Annotated. The print RSAs refer to cases on parental rights and responsibilities, best interests of the children, interference with relationship of children, interference with custody, guardians ad litem, child's preferences, relocating children, (etc., etc.) as well as law review and encyclopedia articles. The online version of the New Hampshire statutes has none of these.    

The Read About section of this guide refers to resources about the law and will provide context and key terms. Read the Law links to selected law on Child Custody and Visitation and should be used as a jumping off point for further research. 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.


Read about... Child Custody and Visitation

WEBSITES

New Hampshire Legal Aid. Primary Parenting Responsibility - Custody

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

Includes: Parents' Rights - A Place to Start, Residential Responsibility, and Modification of Parental Rights & Responsibilities.   GO>

Circuit Court. Family Division - Divorce/Parenting

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

The Family Division handles cases involving divorce. It also handles parenting actions between unmarried persons. Parenting actions used to be called "custody" or "visitation" actions.   GO>


PRINT

A practical guide to divorce in New Hampshire / editor, Jeanmarie Papelian ; marital masters, Robert J. Foley ... [et al.] ; authors, Michael L. Alfano ... [et al.]. Boston, MA : MCLE Ne  GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

Family law / by Charles G. Douglas. New Providence, N.J. : LexisNexis, 2014. 4th ed.   GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

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Read the law about... Child Custody and Visitation

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATUTES

RSA 458. Annulment, Divorce and Separation  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

RSA 458-A. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)  GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

RSA 458-D. Parental Rights and Responsibilities and Child Support Impact Seminars  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

RSA 458-E. Military Parents' Rights Act  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

RSA 461-A. Parental Rights and Responsibilities  GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

RSA 633:4. Interference With Custody  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>
 

NEW HAMPSHIRE CASES

154 N.H. 275 (2006). In re Hampers

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

"When determining matters of custody and visitation, a trial court's overriding concern is the best interest of the child. In doing so, the trial court has wide discretion, and we will not overturn its determination except where there has been an unsustainable exercise of discretion."   GO>

160 N.H. 645 (2010). In re Martin

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

"Pursuant to its plain meaning, RSA 461-A:12, V requires that in this case, the mother must demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that her request to relocate is for a legitimate purpose and that the proposed location, Rhode Island, is reasonable in light of that purpose."   GO>

161 N.H. 630 (2011). In re Miller

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

"Across the country, the great weight of authority holds that conduct by one parent that tends to alienate the child's affections from the other is so inimical to the child's welfare as to be grounds for a denial of custody to, or a change of custody from, the parent guilty of such conduct."   GO>

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Reports

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

Find the New Hampshire Reports in libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Cases: New Hampshire case law consists of the published opinions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. GO>
 

NEW HAMPSHIRE COURT RULES

Circuit Court. Family Division. Rules  GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

Find it in a Library ... LexisNexis NH Court Rules Annotated  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

Find it in a Library ... West's NH Rules of Court. State  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

Learn About New Hampshire Court Rules: Follow this link to learn how to search court rules online as well as what court rules are and how they're published. GO>
 

NEW HAMPSHIRE FORMS

Circuit Court. Family Division. Divorce/Parenting Forms  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017


FEDERAL STATUTES

18 U.S.C. 1204. International parental kidnapping  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

28 U.S.C. 1738A - Full faith and credit given to child custody determinations  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017


FOR MORE HELP ...

Circuit Court. Family Division. Mediation  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

Circuit Court. Family Division. Service Center

Link verified on: February 8, 2017

Questions regarding Circuit Court Family Division cases (e.g., divorce, parenting, juvenile delinquency, CHINS, guardianship of minors, and cases involving DCYF) may be directed to the Family Division Service Center.   GO>

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>


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