New Hampshire Child Custody Factors

In New Hampshire, the court considers the following factors when making a custody decision:

(1) The relationship of the child with each parent and the ability of each parent to provide the child with nurture, love, affection, and guidance.

(2) The ability of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment.

(3) The child’s developmental needs and the ability of each parent to meet them, both in the present and in the future.

(4) The quality of the child’s adjustment to the child’s school and community and the potential effect of any change.

(5) The ability and disposition of each parent to foster a positive relationship

(6) The support of each parent for the child’s contact with the other parent as shown by allowing and promoting such contact.

(7) The support of each parent for the child’s relationship with the other parent.

(8) The relationship of the child with any other person who may significantly affect the child.

(9) The ability of the parents to communicate, cooperate with each other, and make joint decisions concerning the children.

(10) Any evidence of abuse, and the impact of the abuse on the child

(11) If a parent is incarcerated, the reason for and the length of the incarceration, and any unique issues that arise as a result of incarceration.

(12) Any other additional factors the court deems relevant. (New Hampshire Statutes - Chapters: 458:17)

In New Hampshire, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they can’t, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about New Hampshire child custody in the New Hampshire state statutes located at: