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What Does a Collaborative Divorce Resolve?
A divorce is something no couple wants to go through, even if the desire to separate is there, but it’s a legal requirement if you want to move on with your life and perhaps remarry in the future. Divorce proceedings tend to fall into one of three broad categories:
- Simple: A straightforward divorce is when the separating spouses have no disagreements at all; they only need legal guidance with divorce paperwork.
- Complicated: A conflicting divorce is riddled with lawyers, court dates, and a great deal of time and money because the separating spouses have numerous disagreements.
- Somewhere in between: Most separating spouses find themselves somewhere in the middle. They agree on many points, but can’t see eye to eye regarding child custody, support, or property division. If you decide to settle these issues outside of court, you can pursue a collaborative divorce.
Scheduling a consultation with Graham Law Firm, PLLC is a great place to begin. Just contact us online or call (703) 443-9360 to get started.
What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
Collaboration means working together, so a collaborative divorce is about solving problems and reaching agreements through informal discussions and negotiations rather than courtroom battles. Some jurisdictions require couples to attempt a collaborative divorce before turning to the court for help. Just remember, it takes two willing participants for a collaborative divorce to work. If your spouse is disinclined to take part, attempts to negotiate outside of court will be unproductive.
Still, it’s worth the effort to try because a collaborative divorce:
- Saves you time and money.
- Occurs in an informal setting to keep your stress level low.
- Is about having a free, open, and honest exchange to troubleshoot problems.
- Gives both parties the opportunity to negotiate a result that works for everyone.
How Does a Collaborative Divorce Work?
While every collaborative divorce case in Virginia differs slightly, here’s an overview of what your proceedings might look like:
- Each spouse hires a separate divorce lawyer. The attorney you choose should understand that you’re pursuing a collaborative divorce, meaning they should be prepared and willing to negotiate, not take a zealous approach reserved for courtrooms proceedings.
- Each spouse meets with a divorce lawyer. This private meeting is the time to convey your idea of a perfect outcome and places where you’re willing to negotiate. Make your limits clear so your lawyer doesn’t suggest an unacceptable compromise.
- The two parties meet with their divorce lawyers present. You may need to schedule multiple meetings to negotiate all the terms of your divorce. In addition to having your attorneys present, you may also hold some meetings with third-party child custody experts, accountants, and licensed mediators. These neutral professionals help you reach agreements on each issue so you can settle your case outside of court.
- Both parties sign a “no court” agreement. This document directs both attorneys to withdraw from the case if you and your spouse end up going to court to finalize any divorce decisions.
- File your divorce papers and settlement agreement. To do this, simply contact a domestic or family relations court here in Virginia. With all issues resolved through the collaborative divorce process, you can expect the filing to be straightforward and uncontested.
Is a Collaborative Divorce Right for You?
The legal issues surrounding divorce in Virginia can be overwhelming, especially if you’re in an emotional state. Collaborative divorce gives you the opportunity to save time, save money, and move on with your life. An experienced divorce attorney at Graham Law Firm, PLLC can help you get the collaborative proceedings underway and hopefully help you avoid resorting to litigation.