Collaborative Divorce in Virginia
What is a collaborative divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a civilized alternative to the adversarial process that is generally inherent in divorce. It is a way for a divorcing couple to work as a team with trained collaborative lawyers in Virginia Beach, who can operate outside the court system to resolve disputes respectfully and negotiate a compromise on important issues such as child custody, visitation, child support, and property distribution.
What are the advantages of collaborative divorce?
- It is less costly than litigation. Collaborative attorneys in Virginia Beach share with their clients a financial incentive to make the collaborative process work.
- It is less time-consuming. An agreement can usually be reached within four to six meetings on average. A litigated divorce can take one year or more to complete.
- It is designed to create and foster an open and honest dialogue, where difficult problems can be resolved fairly and without conflict.
- It provides the benefits of attorney assistance while avoiding the negative atmosphere of litigation. The opposing counsels are treated as vital parts of the settlement team, not adversaries.
- It relies on using creative bargaining to meet the legitimate needs of both spouses, replacing tactical bargaining backed by threats of litigation.
- It encourages the open exchange of information. All participants commit to providing a full disclosure of any and all relevant information.
- It places issue resolution in the hands of the participants, rather than a disinterested and often not very-well-briefed judge.
Once a couple accepts a settlement, a legally binding agreement is written. When signed by both parties, the papers are filed in court for the approval of a judge. In the event the parties are unable to come to an agreement, the Virginia Beach collaborative lawyers will withdraw from the case, and both parties are free to retain separate trial attorneys to pursue the matter in court. Even if some of the issues are settled through the collaborative process, trial on those remaining issues should be less time-consuming and less costly.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce, you need to speak to a Virginia Beach collaborative attorney immediately. My job is to help couples understand the advantages this approach offers, and then provide the support to help couples make the right choices. Collaborative lawyers in Virginia like me, Shannon & Bedois, P.C., are adept at helping our clients avoid the drawbacks of litigation and unbalanced mediation.
Contact my Virginia Beach divorce law firm for a free initial consultation regarding your family law case today.