NH Supreme Court Recognizes Same-Sex Adultery as Grounds for Divorce

On April 1, 2021, we won a major victory in the NH Supreme Court that made the national news, receiving coverage in the ABA Journal, NH Public Radio, the Union Leader newspaper, and elsewhere. In In re Blaisdell, decided on April 1, the New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned prior precedent and held that a same-sex extramarital affair constitute adultery. 18 years ago, in 2003, a divided Court had narrowly held in the Blancheflower case that same-sex affairs do not give rise to a fault-based ground for divorce. In our case, In re Blaisdell, the Court recognized that the Legislature fundamentally transformed the marital laws when it adopted civil unions, and then gay marriage, just six years after Blancheflower. How could the Legislature have granted gay people the privileges, but not the responsibilities, of marriage? And thus, the Court unanimously overruled Blancheflower, and made its ruling retroactive.

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