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The Benefits of Mediation in Your Virginia Divorce

There are many decisions that must be made in a divorce. Who gets to keep the house? Who gets to keep the car? How are the bank accounts divided? Is there alimony due? If there are children involved, who gets custody of them? Is there child support owed? Sometimes, there are even disputes over who gets to keep the family pets.

If a couple cannot come to a decision amongst themselves on these issues, they will continue with what is known as a contested divorce. A contested divorce is where both sides go to court with their attorneys and argue their side of each issue for a Judge. The Judge will then make the final decision on each issue and order the parties to comply with his or her decision.

The other path is known as an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, a couple can reach an agreement without going into the courtroom. In this case, they will both sign an agreement stating their preferred decisions, and then submit the agreement (and other necessary documents) to the Judge asking him or her to make it an Order.

An uncontested divorce does not necessarily mean you have to make every decision on your own with your spouse or through your attorneys. Another option is through mediation. In mediation, a neutral third-party (known as the mediator) will listen to both of your sides and attempt to help you find a middle ground. Unlike in court, the mediator will never make the decisions for you, just attempt to help you find a compromise you both agree on. 

Attorneys are normally still involved in the mediation process. Mediation can be accomplished in a single day with the mediator in the same room as both the parties or going back and forth between the two to facilitate. If you can come out of mediation having successfully signed an agreement, you can get your divorce done infinitely faster than you could in a courtroom. Resolving even some issues through mediation can often help expedite the process.

The time factor is a huge benefit of mediation. Another is the financial aspect. Mediation is still expensive, but it costs much less than going to court. On top of that, the biggest benefit for many couples is that it puts you back in control. In a contested divorce, your future is at the mercy of a Judge; however, mediation puts the power back in your hands to have a say in what your life looks like post-divorce.

Mediation can be a great option for divorcing couples in Virginia. It can allow you to get through the process more quickly while spending less money and giving yourself a say in the ultimate outcome. If you are going through a divorce in Virginia, contact Rinehart Bryant, PLLC today to get the help you need! We help you like family would!

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