Mediation in Divorce Cases

I have to admit that I’m getting sold on mediation for divorce cases. That’s a good thing because it is increasingly a part of the divorce process in New Hampshire. Early on I figured that the same broken dynamics which governed the spouses’ failed relationship would play itself out in mediation. It was always an opportunity for a quicker outcome with lower cost for the client, but for a questionable outcome? I am happy to report, however, that there are a number of people mediating who do it well and lawyers who are willing to drop the blind advocacy role and act as problem-solvers. One nice thing is that, as in the courtroom, the outcome does not hinge on how obnoxious or unreasonable one side acts. The outcome in mediation is in accordance with the governing law because skilled mediators and lawyers know the general parameters of how a Judge would probably decide the case. We can’t be certain, but the laws which the Judges follow give the process a degree of predictability which makes taking outrageous positions a waste of time and money. Waiting for, preparing for and going through a final hearing can be an unaffordable and ill-advised dispute resolution process. When we have to go that route, it keeps us lawyers busy, but blessed are those who can accomplish quicker, cheaper, less acrimonious and comparably fair voluntary resolution by mediation.

By:  Peter G. Webb

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