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What About Mediation?

The divorce process does not require that every party finish their case in a court room. You may be able to bring your case to a final agreement long before you would ever get to a formal final hearing. In fact, the New Hampshire Family Court now mandates that all parties attempt mediation before they will be scheduled for a final hearing; however, mediation is not the solution for every case.

How to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

Here are some considerations before deciding to proceed with mediation for your divorce.

  1. Both parties must be committed. Mediation only works if both parties are willing to give it an honest try. Both parties need to come to the table ready to negotiate in good faith. The critical components of good faith include a willingness to communicate and compromise. If one party refuses to compromise their demands, then the prospects of a successful mediation are dim. If one party is intentionally non-cooperative or obstructive, then the mediation process will likely not be successful.
  2. Control and privacy. The mediation process allows the parties to a divorce input and approval of each of the terms that will govern the divorce and/or parenting arrangement. If the case goes to trial, then the court will make the final determination about division of assets, parenting rights, and responsibilities of the parties.

    In a mediation, the parties can tailor the terms of their agreement to fit their family’s best interests. Mediation is a private exercise. Mediations can be structured so that the parties conduct their negotiations from their own conference room so as to avoid the emotion and stress of dealing with the opposing party in person.
  3. You should be represented. Just because your divorce will be decided outside of a courtroom in mediation does not mean that you should not seek the counsel of an attorney.

    Mediation provides an opportunity to resolve all issues. If you are successful at mediation, then the agreement will be adopted as an order of the court. You need to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer to explain your rights and the effects the terms will have on you going forward. The mediator will not advocate for either party during the mediation and will not provide you with legal advice.

If you have questions or need experienced legal advice, please call the skilled professionals at Brennan, Lenehan, Iacopino & Hickey.