14 May 2014
Everyone has seen movies and television shows that depict a couple fighting out the terms of their divorce in a courtroom. Though much of what is on TV may be overly-dramatized for entertainment value, in truth, many divorce trials can be highly acrimonious, emotionally-charged, and unpleasant. Trials, by nature, pit one spouse against the other and generally have a winner and a loser on each issue. For this reason, trial should not always be your goal for divorce and other family law matters. In fact, many people work to settle divorce cases outside of the courtroom.
Even negotiations outside of a courtroom can get contentious and ugly. Such negotiations often result in one spouse and their attorney arguing with the other spouse and their attorney. Just because such negotiations may take place outside of a courtroom does not necessarily make the process any more pleasant.
Fortunately, there are other options for couples who are looking to complete their divorce in a non-contentious manner with their dignity intact. Mediation provides spouses with the opportunity to discuss the various terms of their divorce in a civilized manner to try to avoid ever reaching contested proceedings.
Instead of having two parties each with their own divorce lawyer, mediation involves the two parties discussing their divorce with a neutral party. The neutral mediator is not on either spouse’s side and does not represent either of them in legal proceedings. The mediator instead raises issues and facilitates discussion to try to settle divorce matters in a cooperative and respectful fashion. Mediation can cover topics such as child custody and visitation, child or spousal support, division of property, and much more. If two people can come to an agreement in the mediation process, they can have their agreement approved by the court and avoid any contested litigation. Additionally, mediation is not binding, so it is always worth a try to see if an agreement can be reached.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Virginia
Experienced Virginia family law attorney Raymond B. Benzinger provides mediation and other alternative dispute resolutions to try to help you reach a solution without going to court. If you are facing divorce, contact our office today at (703) 312-0410 for help.