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Preparing for collaborative divorce in Virginia

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Divorce

When many people think about divorce, they automatically think of a contentious court battle. However, this does not always have to be the case. There are alternative dispute options that are dedicated to making the process as smooth as possible.

Virginia has adopted the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, which enables people who are going through a divorce to use a specialized process focused on working out the terms of their divorce without court intervention. Specifically, the collaborative process is a signed commitment by all parties to not go to court, or use the threat of litigation, in pursuing resolution of their marital matters. Preparing for the process may help to reduce the stress that it may inspire.

Focus on the outcome

Keep the focus on the outcome of the collaborative process and how it will affect the future. Participants should keep emotions out of the process so they can make logical decisions each step of the way. It may help if they know what points they’re willing to fight for so they can let the others go. That said, everyone knows that divorce is by nature, an emotional process. The collaborative process includes a team of professionals — including at least one mental health professional — to help process feelings while simultaneously working to keep everyone goal-oriented.

Provide accurate information

Collaborative divorce is based on honesty and transparency. Each side must provide an accurate account of everything related to the divorce. This is especially important when it comes to finances and matters involving the children. Part of the signed commitment to participating in the collaborative process is an agreement to provide full disclosure into all financial matters and matters relating to the other aspects of the divorce. Because everyone is looking at the same information together, it helps to promote trust in the collaborative team’s advice and confidence in the outcomes.

Consider creative solutions

One of the benefits of collaborative divorce is that it allows for creative solutions that are tailored to the circumstances. One of the downsides of court and litigation is that there are only a specific range of outcomes possible; alternative dispute resolution options such as collaborative law allow for much more unique outcomes. By remaining open to these creative solutions, the participants may find that they end the marriage with the best outcome possible.

Having a legal representative who understands collaborative divorce is beneficial in these cases because they can provide guidance. They can remain objective and help the person they’re representing to protect their interests throughout the process.

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