Many divorce cases in Fairfax, VA, are settled through family mediation and settlement negotiations. However, if spouses cannot agree to all divorce terms, a family court judge decides for them after a trial.

Litigated divorces are stressful. Contested divorces are also time-consuming and costly. The divorce terms ordered by the judge might not be the best outcome for the couple. Therefore, knowing how to avoid court in a divorce can be valuable.

Do I Need a Fairfax Divorce Lawyer to Avoid Court in a Divorce?

No one can force you to hire a divorce lawyer in Virginia. However, a Fairfax divorce attorney can be invaluable during a divorce proceeding.

Experienced divorce lawyers explain how the Virginia divorce laws impact your case. They also offer practical advice and guidance to help you identify and prioritize issues important to you.

Your divorce lawyer protects your best interests. They work to obtain a divorce settlement that protects your financial future and parental rights. Your attorney works with you to obtain a child custody agreement that promotes your child’s best interests and well-being.

Most importantly, a divorce attorney can help you avoid court in a divorce action.

You Are Not Required to Litigate Your Divorce in Virginia

You must file divorce papers and obtain a divorce decree from the court for the dissolution of marriage in Virginia. The grounds for divorce in Virginia include no-fault and fault grounds.

The no-fault ground for divorce is continuous separation for at least one year. You may reduce the separation period to six months if both spouses agree and they do not have any minor children. Fault grounds for divorce in Virginia include adultery, cruelty, conviction of a felony that results in more than one year in prison, and sodomy.

However, you do not need to litigate your divorce to obtain a divorce decree. Family courts resolve disputes between spouses when they cannot agree to the terms of their divorce. Therefore, if you agree to all terms of the divorce, you can file for divorce, attend a hearing, and obtain a divorce decree without arguing your case before a judge. Terms of your divorce may include child support, child custody, property division, and spousal support.

It is important to note that even though parents may agree to child custody and child support terms, the family court retains jurisdiction over the matter. A judge reviews your agreement to ensure the terms of the parenting plan and time-sharing agreement are in the children’s best interests. A judge can modify your agreement if they believe the terms are not in your child’s best interests.

Tips for Avoiding Court in a Virginia Divorce Case

Even though spouses begin a divorce action at odds, it does not mean they cannot resolve their dispute before going to court. A couple can use collaboration and mediation to resolve disputes and avoid court.

Tips for successful mediation to avoid going to divorce court include:

  • Be open and honest during divorce mediation. Hiding or concealing assets or information can sabotage negotiations.
  • Identify the issues to be settled during the divorce settlement negotiations. Prioritize them from most important to least important to you.
  • Decide what terms you can compromise. Flexibility and compromise are essential in divorce mediation. Knowing which issues you are willing to compromise can give you an advantage during mediation.
  • Generate a list of income, expenses, debts, and assets. Include the market value for all assets. If you have a written basis for the valuation, give copies to your lawyer.
  • Commit to listening to your spouse’s point of view instead of insisting that you are always correct and that your way of handling matters is the only way to handle them.
  • Avoid blaming each other for past wrongs and hurts. Try your best to keep your emotions in check.
  • Understand that you will not obtain everything you want during divorce mediation.
  • Consider hiring a professional divorce mediator to act as an impartial party to facilitate settlement negotiations.
  • Work with your divorce attorney to prepare for mediation.
  • Be open to creating solutions for problems. An advantage of divorce mediation is creating solutions that work best for you and your children.
  • Separate your needs from your wants to help identify areas you can compromise.

Before committing to mediation for a divorce, talk with your Fairfax divorce attorney about the pros and cons of divorce mediation. Most couples benefit from settling their divorce out of court. However, there are cases in which litigation is necessary, such as cases involving domestic violence.

Get Help With Divorce Mediation and Settlement in Fairfax, VA, at The Divorce Law Firm of Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC

Mediation and settlement often produce a much better outcome than going to court for a divorce. You and your spouse understand your situation and your children better than a family court judge. Therefore, you are in a better position to negotiate a divorce settlement that meets your family’s needs.

If you have questions about divorces or divorce mediation, contact a Fairfax divorce lawyer for a confidential consultation at Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC to schedule an initial consultation today. Our law office is located in Fairfax, VA.

We proudly serve Fairfax, VA, and its surrounding areas

Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury
10805 Main St STE 700A, Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 271-6519