Collaborative Divorces in Virginia

When a couple wishes to end their marriage without the stress of a courtroom proceeding, they can pursue a collaborative divorce instead. This is an especially favorable option when there are children involved and the couple wants to make the event a smoother transition. An experienced separation attorney can provide you with information about this process while representing you and your best interests. Read on to learn more about what goes into collaborative divorces in Virginia, as well as the ways a professional lawyer can make a difference in your case.

Collaborative Divorce Process

Each individual attains their own lawyer when carrying out collaborative divorces in Virginia. Both lawyers sign an agreement that they will work with their respective party to reach a fair settlement. If they cannot reach an agreement, both lawyers will remove themselves from the case. This is so that neither lawyer will benefit by having the case last longer than it needs to. During the agreement, both parties will agree on issues such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support.

After attaining a skilled attorney, an individual will need to sign a collaborative divorce agreement laying out the scope of the contract. For this to work, both sides have to voluntarily offer required information such as financial disclosures and agree to act in good faith.

Legal Requirements for Collaborative Divorces in Virginia

However, even with a collaborative divorce, certain legal requirements must be met. In order to carry out a divorce in Virginia, at least one spouse must have lived in Virginia for a minimum of six months. Before reaching the point of divorce, a collaborative divorce attorney can help an individual with a separation agreement, temporary agreement, or any other marital agreement they wish to enter into with their former partner.

Differences Between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

While mediation may be a more well-known option to divorce, know that there are still some requirements that could make it a less favorable option for a former couple. In mediation, even if there is a lawyer involved, they cannot give either party any legal advice. In addition, the mediator acts as a neutral third party who cannot represent any one individual’s interests. This means that if one party has a higher bargaining power or authority in the relationship, they can use that to their advantage in a mediation situation. However, with collaborative divorce, each party is represented by a lawyer. Therefore, it is less likely that any one side will be able to take advantage of the other. In this way, collaborative divorces in Virginia can be thought of as a combination between mediation and regular divorce.

Let a Virginia Collaborative Divorce Attorney Assist You

Lawyers are an essential part of the collaborative divorce process. While your lawyer has an obligation to advocate for you in this situation, they also have an obligation to help you reach a fair agreement, helping to decrease any emotional bias that may be present. By speaking to a Virginia collaborative divorce lawyer, you can receive more information about this process and figure out if you want to move forward with your divorce in a collaborative way instead of litigation. To learn more about collaborative divorces in Virginia, reach out to a professional attorney today to set up your initial consultation.