Virginia Divorce Law: Alternatives to a Nasty Divorce

Contested divorce cases can often turn into a mud slinging competition. Many people want to try and avoid the anxiety that can come from a nasty divorce trial. If you are considering divorce, there are some things you can do now to set yourself and your spouse on the track towards co-parenting and moving on from a bad relationship.

So what are the alternatives to a nasty divorce trial?

The First Alternative: Divorce Mediation

The first alternative to a nasty divorce trial is to consider mediation. Mediation is talked about more fully in a separate article. However, generally speaking, mediation is the process where you and your spouse select a neutral third party, specially trained in dealing with emotional issues, to listen to both sides. After the mediator has listened to both sides, they try and help you and your spouse come to an agreement that is acceptable.

The benefits of mediation is that is doesn’t require testimony, evidence, or a courtroom battle. It can even be less expensive than a full divorce trial. The downside to mediation is that these mediators are not always legally trained. You may need a lawyer to review what they have prepared for any problems.

The Second Alternative: Marriage Counseling

Not all marital disputes need to end in divorce. One of the major ways of coping with a struggling marriage is to seek professional help. There are many organizations around Virginia that specialize in helping couples work through problems they may be having. Before going straight to a divorce trial, you may want to consider a marriage counselor. At the end of the day, it may not work out, but it is worth trying to identify the key issues that are leading to a full trial.

The Third Alternative: Trial Separation

In addition to the above options, some couples may want to try and see what it is like to live separate and apart before seeking a full divorce. A little distance and perspective can be helpful. However, before going down this route, both sides need to mutually agree to separate. Failure to mutually agree may result in abandonment accusations that could be harmful in your divorce.

Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer

It is important to have a lawyer early in the process to understand what alternatives to a nasty divorce trial may work best for you. Make sure you talk to a lawyer early and often so as to not jeopardize your rights in case things break down and you end up needing that nasty divorce trial after all.