Confused About Virginia Family Law? You're Not Alone. Read Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

Dealing with divorce comes with a lot of questions. You may feel very alone, but we hear several of your questions more often than you may think. Browse our FAQs—we think you'll find a lot of helpful answers!

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  • How do I keep my divorce out of court, but still get a fair result?

    If you and you partner are able to get along fairly well, you may be prime candidates for divorce mediation. Mediation keeps divorce out of the courtroom and puts your fate into your own hands.

    The thing about bringing your divorce to court is that even if the final details are "fair" in the court’s eyes, they may not be fair to you or your partner. The judge tries very hard to make things fair for everyone, but the fact of the matter is: he isn’t you. He hasn’t lived your life, owned your things, or been in your marriage. He can do only so much to work out the details of your divorce.

    Mediation lets you and your partner decide what happens in your divorce. You meet at a neutral location with a mediator, who is an un-biased third party. The mediator is there to guide your discussion and aid in negotiating terms of your divorce. She is not there to give you legal advice or argue on behalf of one party; her job is only to keep you on track and help you settle your divorce amicably. In other words, she is more concerned about the mediation process, rather than the settlement outcome.

    Aside from keeping your divorce out of the courtroom, many people prefer mediation because it tends to be far less expensive than a hotly debated divorce in court. And, because you do not need to schedule proceedings according to the court’s schedule, mediated divorces tend to move more quickly and become finalized much sooner than other divorces.

    Once a divorce is finalized in mediation, both parties can go on with their lives, feeling good about how they both agreed on how things should end. If you are interested in Virginia divorce mediation, contact Smith Strong by calling 804-325-1245 to set up a no-obligation consultation.

  • Is it possible to keep my divorce out of the courtroom?

    Yes, in some cases people are able to work out their differences without appearing before a judge. This generally works out best for couples who are splitting amicably, or at least are able to put their differences aside for a while to take care of business. This is also an excellent option for couples who do not have a lot of money and are hoping to avoid a long, drawn-out, expensive divorce.

    If you try to work out the details of your divorce with mediation, it will be just you, your spouse, and a mediator. The mediator is an impartial third party that will help facilitate a discussion and keep you both on track toward a resolution. You will work through all of the important details and both of you will have to come to an agreement on key issues like property division and a parenting plan. Mediation is great because not only does it decrease the amount of time and money you're investing into this divorce, it also makes sure that you're both walking away from the whole thing relatively happy and satisfied. When you aren't able to work things out on your own, the judge is in charge of deciding your fate and it isn't always what either spouse wants.

    Mediation isn't always right for every couple, but it's definitely an excellent way for some couples to handle their divorce. Settlement conferences led by attorneys can provide another venue and process for some sort of out-of-court reconciliation.  Our firm regularly holds settlement conferences for clients, often with successful outcomes. Feel free to discuss your options regarding either mediation or a settlement conference with our attorneys to decide what might be best for you.