Some couple in Virginia who have decided to divorce may automatically assume this means going to court with their attorneys and having a judge issue a final ruling on their divorce legal issues. Sometimes litigation is the only feasible option for spouses with relationship so toxic that they are entirely unable to cooperate with one another to reach a settlement. However, this divorce option can be costly both in time and money, not to mention emotionally. Therefore, spouses who are on better terms with one another may want to consider other processes for settling their divorce.
One option they may consider is collaborative law. This option may be useful if the spouses have trouble communicating with one another, but still want to resolve their divorce legal issues out-of-court. In a collaborative divorce, each party will retain an attorney. Before collaborative divorce proceedings begin, the parties to the divorce will execute a signed statement that they will work to reach a settlement, and if they are unable to do so, they will have to start over with new attorneys. This provides an incentive for both parties to try to compromise so they can reach a settlement that they are both satisfied with.
Another option couples might consider is mediation. A neutral third party oversees mediation. The mediator will not issue a final decision but will help the spouses communicate with one another so they can reach a settlement that then can be approved by the court. This may work well for couples that feel that despite their differences, they can still cooperate in order to settle their divorce legal issues out-of-court.
As this shows, depending on their willingness to cooperate, it is not always necessary to litigate a divorce. There are options for reaching an out-of-court settlement with professional help. In the end, each couple’s divorce is unique and the process that works for one couple may not work for another. Therefore, divorcing couples will have to carefully analyze their situation and relationship, so they can choose the divorce process that is best for them.