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Guardianship

Mediation is available for both Minor Guardianship cases and Guardianship of Incapacitated Persons cases.

Minor Guardianship (GM)

In a Minor Guardianship case, the court has to decide whether to place children under 18 with someone other than the current legal parent. These cases are typically processed in the Family Division of Circuit Court

Requesting Mediation

You can request mediation at your first court hearing, or by filing a motion. If the court refers your case to mediation, you will receive a Notice of Mediation Session with the date and time of your mediation. 

Cost of Mediation

Mediation is free for the first twelve (12) hours. You, the other parties, and the mediator may enter a private agreement to continue the mediation after twelve (12) hours with payment made directly to the mediator.

The Mediation Process

The mediation will occur at the date and time listed on the Notice of Mediation. You are given twelve (12) hours for mediation, though mediation often ends earlier. The mediation starts with the mediator explaining the process and the ground rules for participation. You can find the ground rules in the Mediation Participation Agreement. The mediator will then lead you and the other party through a discussion. The mediator may choose to speak with you (and your attorney) alone, or with the other party (and their attorney) alone. If you and the other party come to an agreement on a topic, the mediator will keep track of the agreement that was reached. You may come to an agreement on all issues, on some of the issues, or not agree.

Outcomes

At the conclusion of your mediation session, the following may occur:

  1. Mediation continues: You, the other parties, and the mediator all agree that continuing mediation would be helpful. You, the other party, and the mediator schedule a follow-up session. If it is beyond the initial twelve (12) hours, you will need to enter a private agreement with the mediator. 
  2. Full Agreement: You and the other parties have come to an agreement on all the issues. The mediator will draft the written agreement and send it to you and the other parties to review. If the agreement is satisfactory, you must sign the agreement and file it with the court. If the mediator chooses, the mediator may help you file the agreement, but it is your responsibility to send a signed copy of the agreement to the court. After the agreement is signed, it will be presented to a judge for review. If the judge approves it, the agreement will become a court order. 
    Please be aware that a guardianship of a minor established by agreement may have different termination rules than a court ordered guardianship. For more information please read RSA 463:15 (V) and/or contact a lawyer. 
  3. Partial Agreement: You and the other parties have come to an agreement on some of the issues but continuing mediation would not be helpful. The mediator will draft a written agreement for those issues you came to an agreement on, and send it to you and the other parties to review. If the agreement is satisfactory, you must sign the agreement and file it with the court. The mediator may, if they choose to, help you file the agreement, but it is your responsibility to send a signed copy of the agreement to the court. The court will then schedule the next event and you will receive notice. 
  4. No agreement: The mediator will notify the court that you and the other party did not reach an agreement and the court will schedule the next event. You will receive notice.

Laws, Rules, and Procedures

Forms

  
Questions?

Minor Guardianship Questions: 1-855-212-1234
Mediation Questions: mediation@courts.state.nh.us

Let us know how mediation worked for you: www.surveymonkey.com/r/NHMediation

Guardianship of Incapacitated Persons (GI)

In a Guardianship of Incapacitated Persons case, the court has to determine whether a person can take care of their daily needs and if they have the ability to manage their finances. These cases are typically processed in the Probate Division of Circuit Court. 

Mediation is often a good fit for GI cases because generally, the issues are not only legal but emotional and relational. Mediation is a good way to explore solutions that help the person in need while letting them retain the appropriate level of independence. Mediation is also collaborative, so it helps to preserve relationships between family members and friends. 

Requesting Mediation

You can request mediation at your first court hearing, or by filing a motion. If the court refers your case to mediation, you will receive a Notice of Mediation Session with the date and time of your mediation. 

Cost of Mediation

Mediation is free for the first twelve (12) hours. You, the other parties, and the mediator may enter a private agreement to continue the mediation after twelve (12) hours with payment made directly to the mediator.

Preparing for Mediation

Complete the Probate Mediation Prep Form and send a copy to the other parties and the mediator at least ten (10) days before the mediation.

The Mediation Process

The mediation will occur at the date and time listed on the Notice of Mediation. You are given twelve (12) hours for mediation, though mediation often ends earlier. The mediation starts with the mediator explaining the process and the ground rules for participation. You can find the ground rules in the Mediation Participation Agreement. The mediator will then lead you and the other party through a discussion. The mediator may choose to speak with you (and your attorney) alone, or with the other party (and their attorney) alone. If you and the other party come to an agreement on a topic, the mediator will keep track of the agreement that was reached. You may come to an agreement on all issues, on some of the issues, or not agree.

Outcomes

At the conclusion of your mediation session, the following may occur:

  1. Mediation continues: You, the other parties, and the mediator all agree that continuing mediation would be helpful. You, the other party, and the mediator schedule a follow-up session. If it is beyond the initial twelve (12) hours, you will need to enter a private agreement with the mediator. 
  2. Full Agreement: You and the other parties have come to an agreement on all the issues. The mediator will draft the written agreement and send it to you and the other parties to review. If the agreement is satisfactory, you must sign the agreement and file it with the court. If the mediator chooses, the mediator may help you file the agreement, but it is your responsibility to send a signed copy of the agreement to the court. After the agreement is signed, it will be presented to a judge for review. If the judge approves it, the agreement will become a court order.
  3. Partial Agreement: You and the other parties have come to an agreement on some of the issues but continuing mediation would not be helpful. The mediator will draft a written agreement for those issues you came to an agreement on, and send it to you and the other parties to review. If the agreement is satisfactory, you must sign the agreement and file it with the court. The mediator may, if they choose to, help you file the agreement, but it is your responsibility to send a signed copy of the agreement to the court. The court will then schedule the next event and you will receive notice. 
  4. No agreement: The mediator will notify the court that you and the other party did not reach an agreement and the court will schedule the next event. You will receive notice.

Laws, Rules, and Procedures

Forms

  
Questions?

Guardianship of Incapacitated Person Questions: 1-855-212-1234
Mediation Questions: mediation@courts.state.nh.us

Let us know how mediation worked for you: www.surveymonkey.com/r/NHMediation