MEDIATION LAWS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Attorney Shaunna Browne is an experienced Mediation Attorney in Manchester, NH who can assist you through the mediation process. Hiring a third party mediator is helpful when the divorce is amicable. It can relieve stress and anxiety and offer a fair and understanding solution that benefits all parties.
However, everything has its time and place, and unfortunately mediation, in its current posture, often causes more harm than good to divorcing families and children.
Should I Hire an Attorney or a Mediator?
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution in which a Court trained volunteer mediator (who may or may not be an attorney), receives and reviews brief position summaries from the parties, and then meets with them in a controlled setting in an attempt to bring about some mutually acceptable resolution of a pending claim.
The Family Division system has recently been pushing mediation and it is now mandatory in most divorce cases. Its goal is to resolve cases quickly, with minimal use of Court time and resources. While mediation has its place, in my opinion it is forced on parties way to early in the divorce process, at a time when they are emotionally fragile and vulnerable, when one party may be seeking to "please" or not further "anger" their spouse.
BEWARE OF ATTEMPTING TO MEDIATE YOUR DIVORCE BEFORE YOU HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH AND HIRE A TRAINED AND EXPERIENCED LAWYER TO PREPARE AND ASSIST YOU IN THAT PROCESS.
Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
While mediation may have its benefits, parties have to be on completely equal footing, in terms of emotional strength, objectives, full and equal knowledge of their financial situations and histories, and willingness to be fair and reach an even handed resolution.
You should also know that a mediated agreement is binding and cannot be easily changed or modified, without great expense and delay. Oftentimes, mediators give bad or incomplete advice (they are not supposed to give any!) and many of them seem concerned with moving cases along and pleasing the Court so they can receive more mediation appointments. They are not your friends and are not concerned about the long term consequences of a mediated agreement upon you, your children, and family.
If parties have discussed divorce and believe that they can reach an agreement regarding all issues that the Court would address in a divorce matter then my firm can assist you by preparing the necessary documents to finalize your divorce matter. Again, do not simply rely upon the check box forms provided by the Court as they are often ambiguous and create misunderstandings which can and most likely will result in costly post divorce litigation.
As a small firm I understand the financial struggles that each of my clients' face when dealing with divorce and parenting issues. While I do not encourage clients to enter into any type of legal proceeding without legal counsel, my firm is able to provide limited representation (a.k.a. Unbundled Services), which is discussed further on our Unbundled Services Page.
"When family matters you need to call"
Shaunna L. Browne Law PLLC
102 Bay Street, Suite #2 Manchester NH 03104
For a Free Initial Consultation Call - 603-626-8080