New Hampshire Office of Mediation & Arbitration

Semester: 2017 Fall

Students: Margaret Huang & Michael Haley

The New Hampshire Judicial Branch Office of Mediation and Arbitration oversees all alternative dispute resolution programs within the New Hampshire Judicial Branch, including creating, managing, monitoring, and assessing programs. This project will look at the use of ADR in the family division, focusing on the process for handling reopened divorce and parenting cases.

The Court would like to develop a more uniform and effective dispute management approach to reopened cases, consistent with its mandate to decrease the adversarial nature of divorce and parenting cases. To that end, the Office of Mediation and Arbitration has engaged HNMCP to review the current way such cases are handled and make recommendations for a better dispute management system that could be implemented throughout the state.

Activities & Deliverables Envisioned

  • Observing current ways the reopened divorce and parenting cases are managed in the courts;
  • A stakeholder assessment of judges, court staff, mediators, and parties involved in such cases.
  • Recommendations for ways the Court may better manage reopened cases—including but not limited to increasing the use of ADR processes—in light of an emphasis on “managing conflict and reducing the acrimony between parties” (RSA 461-A:7(1)(a)) and with an understanding of current Court resources.
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