Some Virginians seeking a divorce may have a lot of animosity towards one another and may feel that they have no choice but to have their divorce legal issues settled by a judge in court. However, others may wonder if there is a less adversarial way to end their marriage. In the age of “conscious uncoupling,” some people in Virginia seeking a divorce may be interested in learning more about how collaborative law can be used to settle their divorce.
In the collaborative divorce process, each party will retain their own attorney. The parties and their attorneys will all agree in writing to settle their divorce through out-of-court negotiations, with the goal of creating a settlement agreement that can then be approved by the court. To show their commitment to the process, if the parties cannot agree on all their divorce legal issues and some or all of them must be settled by the court, the parties’ attorneys will bow out of the case and the parties will have to retain new attorneys to litigate their divorce.
In addition to attorneys, other professionals such as therapists and accountants can be consulted in the collaborative divorce process. Many times, people who utilize collaborative divorce find the result to be satisfactory, because they were able to negotiate it on their own terms. While each party will need to make some concessions, reaching an agreement that they can feel good about can be very beneficial.
Collaborative law is not for all couples. For example, if a spouse is abusive or is hiding assets, the collaborative divorce process may not be preferable. However, for couples that are still able to communicate with one another with the common goal of ending their marriage, collaborative law could be a feasible means of settling their divorce.