Mediation or collaborative divorce may reduce conflict, cost less

Uncontested divorce may have many benefits, including reduced conflict and cost. Two options include mediation and collaborative law.

No divorce is ever easy, no matter how quick the process or amicable each party is. However, some divorces are easier than others. This may be true for Virginia residents who are able to have an uncontested divorce. Also known as amicable divorce or alternative dispute resolution, these options have numerous benefits.

How mediation and collaborative law work

Uncontested divorce does not necessarily mean there will be no disputes during the process. Instead, this means each spouse is attempting to peacefully end the marriage by cooperating and negotiating with each other. Their choices in doing so may include mediation or collaborative law.

According to the American Bar Association, mediation involves a neutral third party, as well as each spouse and, optionally, each spouse's attorney. During the process, the neutral third party - the mediator - attempts to help the divorcing couple reach resolutions to their disputes that they both can agree upon. Mediation is usually conducted with both spouses present, although the mediator may agree to meet with each spouse in private during one or two sessions.

A collaborative divorce involves the spouses' attorneys, and may also include professionals such as tax advisors and child therapists. Collaborative law may be a good option for those with complex disputes. According to U.S. News and World Report, each party signs an agreement not to litigate during a collaborative divorce. This may give the couple an incentive to cooperate, since they must start over with new attorneys if they end up having to go to court.

The benefits of uncontested divorce

Alternative dispute resolution is known to have many possible benefits, including reduced conflict and cost. It may also take a fraction of the time to finalize a divorce through amicable means than by going through a court battle. This conflict reduction may be especially good when children are involved, who are particularly affected by the contention of their parents' divorce.

When litigation may be necessary

In some cases, it may not be possible for a couple to resolve their differences without the assistance of a judge. For example, one spouse may be intimidated by the other. Alcohol, drug abuse or domestic violence might have been factors that led to the divorce. One or both spouses may have been unwilling or unable to cooperate and treat each other with respect, which is necessary in an uncontested divorce.

It is important for those who are considering a divorce to speak with an experienced Richmond family lawyer. An attorney should be able to consider each couple's unique situation and make a recommendation as to which option might be most effective for them. Contact an experienced attorney at Barnes & Diehl, P.C., for help and guidance in exploring the best options for you.