PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
461-A:5 Decision-making Responsibility.
Except as provided in paragraph III, in the making of any order relative to decision-making responsibility, there shall be a presumption, affecting the burden of proof, that joint decision-making responsibility is in the best interest of minor children:
I. Where the parents have agreed to an award of joint decision-making responsibility or so agree in open court at a hearing for the purpose of determining parental rights and responsibilities for the minor children of the marriage. If the court declines to enter an order awarding joint decision-making responsibility, the court shall state in its decision the reasons for the denial.
II. Upon the application of either parent for joint decision-making responsibility, in which case it may be awarded at the discretion of the court. For the purpose of assisting the court in making a determination whether an award of joint decision-making responsibility is appropriate under this section, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the children according to the provisions of RSA 461-A:16. If the court declines to enter an order awarding joint decision-making responsibility, the court shall state in its decision the reasons for the denial.
III. Where the court finds that abuse as defined in RSA 173-B:1, I has occurred, the court shall consider such abuse as harmful to children and as evidence in determining whether joint decision-making responsibility is appropriate. In such cases, the court shall make orders for the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities that best protect the children or the abused spouse or both. If joint decision-making responsibility is granted despite evidence of abuse, the court shall provide written findings to support the order.
Source. 2005, 273:1, eff. Oct. 1, 2005.