Except under a temporary emergency situation, under RSA 458-A:15, New Hampshire has jurisdiction under RSA 458-A: 12, to make an initial child-custody determination if New Hampshire is the home state of the child.
A New Hampshire court can also have jurisdiction in a child custody case if New Hampshire was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding but now the child is no longer living in New Hampshire, as long as a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in New Hampshire.
Another avenue to file a custody case in a New Hampshire court is if another state does not have jurisdiction outlined above or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum under RSA 458-A: 18 (Inconvenient Forum) or RSA 458-A: 19 (Jurisdiction Declined by Reason of Conduct) and the child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state.
The connection must be more than mere physical presence and substantial evidence is available in New Hampshire concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships.
New Hampshire will not have exclusive and continuing jurisdiction beyond initial jurisdiction outlined above if (a) it is determined by the court that neither the child, nor the child and one parent or person acting as a parent have a significant connection in New Hampshire and that substantial evidence is no longer available in New Hampshire concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships or (b) a court in New Hampshire or a court of another state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in this state.
The lesson here is if you want your case to start and continue in New Hampshire, make sure you and your child have continuous connection with the state. Call Theresa Spearing at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.