The New Hampshire Collaborative Divorce Pro Bono Program
The New Hampshire Collaborative Divorce Pro Bono Program is a free and confidential service offered to individuals who are going through a divorce or parenting case and cannot afford a lawyer
The Program offers a limited number of hours spread over 2 or more sessions for applicants who have been evaluated for suitability and financial eligibility.
The program is for parties who are willing to meet and negotiate using the principles of Collaborative Practice.
The Collaborative Practice Model involves a group of professionals who are specifically trained to assist in the process of divorce. This team comprises a lawyer for each party, a neutral divorce coach who is a counselor with expertise in the collaborative process and can assist with communication and parenting plans, and a financial neutral if required.
The Collaborative team will work with both parties to reach a satisfactory settlement, which may include a parenting plan and/or an agreement on financial matters and support.
If the couple successfully resolves their issues, they will receive a signed agreement or Minutes of Settlement. They will also receive instructions on how to proceed with their divorce if they decide to do so.
Client Screening: The process begins with a client screening performed by an administrative staff member. Clients will be screened with a brief screening tool for appropriateness for the Collaborative Law process and for income and asset limitations.
To be eligible to participate in this program, you and your spouse must:
- Both consent to participate in meetings together, and
- Have a combined gross annual income of less than $53,000 for a family of 4 and
- Have less than $100,000 of equity in assets, excluding pension plans
Clients must agree that the Collaborative Law team will be allowed to report statistical information to CDNH on their case and to complete a satisfaction survey at the end of their work with the Collaborative professionals.
Client Referral: A client who qualifies for the program will be referred to the next Collaborative Law team. If either the client or professional in their discretion determines that it is not a good fit, they can be provided the next referral panel member off the list.
Referral Panel members have the following requirements:
- Must be a CDNH Member in good standing;
- Must agree to comply with the reporting requirements of the program