When a couple in Virginia is going through a divorce, they may be mentally preparing themselves for a lengthy and adversarial trial in which there is a “winner” and a “loser.” Litigation can be stressful, especially since in the end the spouses do not have a say in the final outcome, and must abide by the judge’s decision, whether they like it or not. Therefore, couples may be interested in pursuing negotiations out-of-court to resolve their divorce legal issues. One way they can do this is through collaborative law.
In a collaborative divorce, each party will be represented by an attorney and all will agree to try to negotiate a settlement, rather than litigating it. The attorneys will serve as facilitators for the spouses as they discuss together how their concerns and interests with regards to their divorce legal issues. The ultimate goal is to reach a settlement that both parties are satisfied with. If an agreement cannot be reached, the attorneys must bow out of the case, and the spouses will need to hire new attorneys as they move forward with litigation. In this way, both the spouses and their attorneys have an incentive to reach a settlement agreement together.
There are numerous benefits to collaborative law versus litigation. Discussions had during the collaborative law process are kept private. Collaborative law encourages spouses to look towards their future. By having positive discussions where the spouses can express their concerns and interest, an agreement can be reached that is mutually beneficial for both spouses. There is no court-imposed deadline, so spouses can take their time to reach an agreement. Collaborative law allows spouses to be creative when it comes to reaching an agreement. Finally, collaborative law could help spouses form a cordial relationship with one another despite their divorce, rather than pitting them against each other as adversaries.
Collaborative law may be an option worth considering when it comes to resolving one’s divorce legal issues. It allows both spouses to have a say in the final outcome of their divorce, which could lead to a more satisfactory outcome. Litigation can breed resentment; collaborative law encourages cooperation. In the end, if negotiations made during the collaborative law process are successful, the spouses can walk away from their divorce with a positive mind set and an agreement they feel is fair.