Archive for August, 2013

Avoid Court

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Anytime you can avoid Court it is a good thing these days.  Our Courts are backed up, overloaded and short staffed.  A typical contested divorce can last over a year due mainly to the Court’s schedule.  I tell anyone who comes into my office for a divorce that unless we can resolve some or all of the issues with the other spouse, we are in this for the long haul.

The Collaborative Process allows individuals to settle on their own terms, outside of the Court’s schedule.  With a full agreement, no one has to step foot in Court.

Many of my clients have never been to Court before and the thought terrifies them.  I can understand that.  During the course of a contested divorce we typically go to Court at least four times.  At the Temporary Hearing, the judge allows fifteen minutes for each side to present his or her case.  Within that short amount of time, the judge is supposed to determine a parenting schedule for the children, who is going to live where and who is going to pay what bills, among many other things.  Many judges will encourage people to try and resolve these issues on their own as the judge does not know what is best for them and their children; they do!

Avoiding Court and coming up with a fair and reasonable plan for you and your family is the goal of the Collaborative Process.

Attorney Kate Morneau

Attorney Kate Morneau

Attorney Katherine Morneau is a collaborative divorce lawyer with Morneau Law in Nashua, N.H.

What to expect from your lawyer in a Collaborative Divorce:

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

In a Collaborative divorce, your lawyer is there to advise you about the law and to advocate on your behalf, but not to be your “mouthpiece,” as in an adversarial or litigated case.  The Collaborative lawyer helps you figure out and express your own authentic needs, interests and concerns. Rather than telling you what to do, your Collaborative lawyer coaches you to make the best choices in your divorce. You are encouraged and expected to be an active participant in the process.

Ideally, in the Collaborative process, you may also pick up some constructive dispute-resolution and communication methods to carry forward into your post-divorce life, whether the goal is to co-parent better or to become more effective in your personal or work life.

When choosing a Collaborative attorney, you should look for lawyers who have done extensive training, especially in the more advanced coursework, where lawyers are specifically taught how to model good dispute-resolution and communication methods for their clients.

The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals lists the trainings New Hampshire practitioners have taken under its Member Profile section. See for more information.

Lisa Forberg, Esq.

Lisa Forberg, Esq.

 Attorney Lisa Forberg is a collaborative divorce lawyer with Forberg Law in Manchester, N.H.