VIRGINIA DIVORCE COLLABORATIVE MEDIATION LAWYER
COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE AND MEDIATION
If you have filed for divorce in Virginia, and it is now becoming financially or mentally overwhelming, it is not too late. There are ways to change what is not working for you.
Once a divorce case is filed in Virginia, the typical divorce attorney comes out of the gate running. Pleadings are prepared and filed in court, issues are set on the court’s docket for hearings, summons and subpoenas are issued, and discovery is propounded. While you may have thought that this aggressive posture would get you what you want, you are now discovering that the tactics used to “win” are extremely expensive, the case has taken on a life of its own, and you have little to no control over what is happening.
One way to bring your divorce back into your control both financially and emotionally is to leave traditional litigation behind and pursue a collaborative divorce. You and your spouse have the option to re-route and go the collaborative way. The courts in Virginia will accommodate parties who no longer want to litigate but want to divorce collaboratively. If your current attorneys are trained in the collaborative method, you may keep the same attorneys, if not, it is simple to find collaborative attorneys in your area.
In the collaborative method, you, your spouse and both of your attorneys agree to work toward a settlement; not a forced settlement on the eve of trial after having spent thousands for trial preparation, but a carefully thought out settlement, one that works to put you on the right track for the future. No longer are threatening tactics used, no longer are you at the mercy of the court’s timeline, and no longer are you paying for your attorney’s time in court or time in preparing for trial. Much of the work in a collaborative divorce is done in four-way meetings with the parties and their attorneys. Other collaborative professionals are brought in as needed to assist the parties in crafting parenting plans and financial plans, and when needed, to help improve communications between the parties. The goal of a collaborative divorce is to avoid the financial and emotional destruction involved in litigation and to prepare the parties and their families for a successful future. In a collaborative divorce, the parties retain the power and control over their lives, their children, and their money and resources, not the attorneys and not the Judges.
Another way to preserve your funds and regain control over your divorce is to engage in mediation. Parties often think that once they are involved in divorce litigation, mediation is not an option. In fact, at any time, the parties can choose to take an individual issue or the whole case to mediation. In some jurisdictions in Virginia, the courts actually require the parties in a divorce action to engage in a mediation orientation. Mediation is substantially less costly than litigation. Rather than paying two different attorneys to argue in court or to negotiate your case, why not spend a lot less with a mediator who will facilitate the discussion and resolution between you and your spouse directly. Your combined resources pay one source; both parties work together with the mediator, involved in every step; and your self-determination remains intact.
This is your life, your divorce, and your choice.