If you want to get divorced but also want to avoid a court battle, consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR). ADR generally provides a more amicable method for resolving issues that arise in a divorce case and is usually less costly and quicker. There are different forms of ADR, including mediation and collaborative divorce.
Mediation in a family law case is an informal process in which a mediator helps spouses resolve their differences. The mediator is a neutral party who does not represent either spouse nor have the authority to make any decision. He or she simply helps the spouses reach agreement on the open issues before them. Courts in Virginia will order parents who cannot agree on a parenting plan to participate in mediation except in certain types of cases. For example, if there is a history of domestic violence, child abuse or mental illness, the court may decide not to order mediation. Generally, mediation is less expensive and quicker than traditional court litigation.
Collaborative divorce is a process for resolving disputes in which the lawyers for each spouse try to assist them in reaching agreement on their differences through negotiation rather than litigation. Both the clients and the lawyers sign a participation agreement, in which they agree that the lawyers will withdraw from the cases if a settlement is not reached. The cost of financial and other experts are shared, which significantly reduces costs for both parties. Informal discussions enable the spouses to explore their issues and resolve them amicably. This usually results in a quicker resolution at a lesser cost than traditional litigation.
Put a Virginia Beach family law attorney to work for you
If you are contemplating getting divorced, consult with experienced Virginia Beach divorce lawyers who can advise you on the most appropriate divorce strategy for your situation. Contact Messman Law, PLC today to schedule a personal consultation with a divorce lawyer.