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Bar News - November 16, 2012

New Worksheet for Court-Ordered Mediation

The Family Division of the Circuit Court has adopted a new mediation payment worksheet for first appearances in family law cases and other times when the court orders mediation.

The worksheet is part of a streamlined process for gathering information from which to determine initial mediation payment obligations for court-ordered mediation in divorce and parenting cases.

The worksheet will help parties provide the information necessary for courts to draft an Order on Appointment of Mediator in family division cases involving minor children and will take the place of NHJB-2683-FOMA, Request for Payment from the Office of Mediation and Arbitration Family/Indigent Mediation Fund.

Moving forward, eligibility for payment of a mediator through the Family/Indigent Mediation Fund or Grant will be more streamlined than the current process. Payment eligibility will no longer be tied to a party’s Financial Affidavit and Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, but instead to the parties’ incomes and the current Federal Poverty Level Guidelines. The new worksheet will eliminate the need for parties to complete financial affidavits at or before First Appearance and consistently provide mediators with information regarding payment upon receipt of Orders on Appointment.

Family Division Administrative Order 2005-04 is being amended to reflect the new process. The amended Administrative Order and the Mediation Payment Worksheet will be available on the Judicial Branch’s website in the next few weeks.

Anyone with questions about the streamlined preliminary payment determination process for divorce/parenting mediation or other ADR efforts under way in the courts can contact ADR coordinator Molly Brown at 603-271-6418. (See page 36 for information on Brown, the courts’ newly appointed ADR coordinator.)

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