When couples go through divorce, it shatters a sense of normalcy and long-term security that everyone in the family depends on. A contentious litigated divorce can heighten the tension that couples are already going through as the two sides fight over everything from marital assets to custody to parental time.
Fortunately, there are other, less adversarial options for divorce in Virginia in which both spouses can amicably resolve issues that are part of divorce, while maintaining a decent relationship that will make them better co-parents after the split is final.
Not only is an out-of-court divorce less expensive, it is also private, and clients will have more control over the final divorce settlement. It is important to have the skills of an experienced family law attorney in Northern Virginia to be by your side when deciding the best path to take.
The collaborative divorce method
Among the many alternative dispute resolution methods that are available for divorcing couples, collaborative divorce has gained popularity in recent years. It is especially attractive for those who realize the shortcomings of litigation, but who still wish to have the support of their attorney during the process.
Unlike a mediation, where often the clients go to a mediator without their lawyer present, a collaborative divorce involves the attorneys for both sides as part of an interdisciplinary team that is dedicated to working together for the benefit of the clients.
At the outset, both sides agree that differences will be resolved within the framework of this process, and that neither side will go to court. A mental health professional is present to help support the spouses as they are working through strong emotions, identifying emotional hotspots and triggers that can potentially harm the negotiations.
The collaborative divorce method focuses on the needs of the client. Just as it is the mental health professional’s job to make sure that both spouses are emotionally supported, it is the attorneys’ job to focus on the interests of their clients. As this an interest-based negotiation, the collaborative lawyer uses his skills to negotiate rather than threaten.
Resolving disputes amicably
Working through issues in a respectful manner that keeps the needs of the clients at the forefront will help both sides to come away from the process with some, if not of all, of those needs met. When both parents have a positive resolution to conflicts, if makes them better co-parents after divorce.