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3 options for your divorce proceedings in Virginia

If you feel nervous about moving forward with an upcoming divorce, especially if you know someone who had a particularly messy end to their marriage. Divorce is not just expensive and often embarrassing. It is also an intensely stressful experience even if you recognize that it is necessary given your current circumstances.

Just like you have your own unique reason for wanting to end your marriage, you may require a unique approach to the dissolution process. There are typically three ways that couples go from unhappily married to officially divorced in the Virginia family courts.

They litigate

The most well-known solution for a divorce is litigation. Both spouses present evidence in family court and ask a judge to make a determination regarding what is appropriate for both the division of their property and their responsibility to their children. Litigation is frequently the most expensive form of divorce as it requires a lot of time in court.

They settle outside of court

An uncontested divorce can be faster and less stressful for your entire family. You can reach your own settlement either through direct communication with your ex or by asking that your lawyer communicate with their attorney to negotiate specific matters. Provided that it is successful, a settlement or collaborative approach can keep your costs lower while also giving you more control over the process.

They mediate when they can’t agree

Direct negotiations can be a challenge for those who struggle with their divorce-related emotions. Mediation involves bringing in an outside party to help the two of you cooperate with one another and negotiate an appropriate settlement. Mediation can be useful both for contested property division matters and the resolution of disagreements about child custody.

Some couples first attempt settlement negotiations and then go to mediation, using litigation as the option of last resort. Others, including those leaving abusive relationships, may realize that direct settlements and mediation won’t be an option in their case.

Understanding the different approaches to Virginia divorces can help you determine the best choice for your current situation.