In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding family law, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
Collaborative Divorces in New Hampshire – The Conflict Free Option
A fairly new concept, collaborative law is defined as an “interest based” type of divorce proceedings wherein both parties agree to settle arising differences stemming from a marriage’s dissolution in a cooperative fashion via confidential settlement conferences.
The divorcing spouses agree to negotiations that are made in good faith, to exchange honest information in a timely fashion, and to maintain integrity, honesty, and professionalism. The parties and their New Hampshire divorce lawyers sign a contract that agrees to adhere to these concepts. Should the contract be violated, or if the parties cannot agree to a settlement, then their NH divorce attorneys must withdraw and cannot serve to represent their prospective clients during further litigation.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
The process of collaborative divorce is more cost effective and time efficient than a traditional, contested divorce. Settlement terms can be reached without going through the New Hampshire courts. Secondly, during collaborative divorce proceedings, lawyers do not speak on behalf of their clients. The parties work together to settle disputes. This practice is particularly beneficial in a scenario where children are present, because it enables the parents to co-parent effectively in the future.
Moreover, an emphasis is placed on conflict-free resolution of issues, which reduces destructive behavior that might occur between the parties. This process encourages an amicable resolution to the end of a relationship. Divorce is conducted with dignity.
The Risks of a Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative divorce is not right for all couples. For example, in cases where domestic violence has been used or wherein an uncooperative party will only respond to a judge’s orders or threats, collaborative divorce would most likely not succeed.
Moreover, if one spouse does not feel comfortable speaking for themselves and prefers for their lawyer to speak on their behalf, this spouse might feel unprotected during collaborative meetings where the parties are expected to speak on their own behalves. If the process is not successful, additional monies must be spent to retain new lawyers to start over in a courtroom setting.
Why an NH Divorce Lawyer Should be Trained In Collaborative Law
Unlike the average case in which the divorce lawyer assumes an adversarial role and speaks on behalf of their client, collaborative lawyers are not directly involved in negotiations. In order to settle disputes, divorcing spouses are encouraged to speak on their own behalves.
Moreover, collaborative divorce lawyers are bound, should this process fail, to withdraw from the case and not provide further representation for their client in a courtroom. NH collaborative divorce lawyers are not focused on trials. Instead, their approach to a case maintains a different mindset – coming to a mutual agreement peacefully vs. winning a case in court.
Collaborative lawyers are considered a new type of advocate. They do provide counsel to their clients and offer advice on legal matters, but they refrain from employing adversarial techniques. While they are representing their client’s best interests, they are also bearing in mind the other spouse’s and the whole family’s best interests too. Because there are a number of principles attorneys must be familiar with before taking on a collaborative case, he or she should possess specific training for this field in order for the process to work.
To find out more about collaborative divorce in New Hampshire and to determine if the option is right for you and your family, please contact one of our New Hampshire divorce attorneys today.
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