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Collaborative law can benefit divorcing couples in Virginia

Not all divorces have to be acrimonious, lengthy fights before a judge, with each side trying to be the "winner." Sometimes couples in Virginia can work together to negotiate their divorce legal issues out-of-court. One way to do this is through the collaborative law process.

In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their attorneys will meet together out-of-court with the common goal of reaching an agreement on their divorce legal issues. Unlike litigation, there is no ultimate decision-maker; it is the parties that will cooperate with one another to reach a resolution. Other experts, such as financial experts and therapists may help the couples better understand their situation, so they can make appropriate decisions. Once an agreement is reached, it will be submitted to the court for approval.

There are a number of benefits to a collaborative divorce. The parties can establish a temporary agreement, which will provide them with stability in their lives while they hash out the main issues in their divorce. Each side will have a full picture of their marital and separate assets and finances because they will have voluntarily shared all necessary information. A negotiated settlement can be reached that meets both parties' needs. The parties can also agree on how any post-divorce issues will be addressed.

Collaborative divorce may not work in all circumstances, for example, in cases where domestic abuse is an issue. However, for those who can make it work, it can provide many benefits not just during the divorce process, but afterwards as well. By committing to work together to reach a resolution on their divorce legal issues, couples utilizing collaborative law may be more satisfied with their divorce, as they had more control over its outcome. This could make the transition from married life to divorced life less stressful, so each side can move on in a healthy manner.

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