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What is the difference between divorce litigation and divorce mediation?

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In the same way that each family is unique, so is every divorce. Depending on the unique personal and financial circumstances between spouses, the divorce process can vary greatly, ranging from amicable and streamlined to difficult and laborious. Some couples utilize mediation to separate assets and property, while others must endure litigation to reach a resolution. Generally, many people prefer to use mediation during the divorce process, as this process can result in a speedier and smoother divorce. For this reason, seeking legal assistance from a divorce mediation attorney can be valuable. 

At the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, we have helped our clients leverage mediation to peacefully divide their personal and financial affairs. Above all, we believe in easing the burden of divorce for all parties involved. If you or a loved one is seeking a divorce, mediation may be an option. Consider contacting an experienced divorce mediation attorney at 703-782-4360 to get started today. 

What Is Divorce Litigation?

Divorce litigation is one method of resolving disputes during a divorce and is typically utilized when two parties cannot reach an agreement through other means. When a divorce reaches litigation, the court is called upon to make decisions. It is not necessary for a divorce to be litigated. In fact, many couples wish to avoid litigation because it can be costly, stressful, and time-consuming. 

In more extreme situations, divorce litigation can lead to a trial in order to settle disputes. This is relatively uncommon, however, and most divorces are resolved before reaching trial. Typically, litigation involves court appearances to settle issues related to custody, support, or property division. Divorce litigation does not necessarily mean that the separation is hostile or contemptuous, however. Sometimes, litigation is necessary to settle larger issues that arise during the process

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation, on the other hand, involves settling issues with the assistance of a neutral third-party. This neutral third-party is referred to as a mediator. The Code of Virginia § 8.01 states that a mediator is responsible for facilitating communication between parties to help them reach mutually agreed-upon decisions. The mediator is selected by agreement of the parties, so it is someone with whom both spouses are comfortable. 

Pursuant to the Code of Virginia § 8.01-581.25, all decisions made during divorce mediation are legally enforceable, just like other contracts. Moreover, divorce mediation can handle an array of issues, including:

  • Division of property and assets
  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Child support
  • Retirement and pension issues
  • Taxes

In some cases, mediation may be an initial step before litigation. Complete and total agreement is not always possible between spouses, and litigation may prove necessary in these situations. As such, mediation can be a valuable starting point for many divorcing spouses.

Do I Need an Attorney for Divorce Mediation?

In divorce mediation, legal counsel is permitted but it is not required. The mediator is there to facilitate an agreement between the two parties. They do not advocate on behalf of either individual. Because of this, seeking counsel from a divorce mediation attorney can be a valuable part of the mediation process. An attorney can advocate for your rights and work to ensure the most ideal outcome for you. 

The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury regularly represents individuals who are proceeding through divorce mediation. We help our clients work through conflicts and reach agreements that benefit all parties involved. 

When Is Mediation Right for You?

Mediation is a valuable tool for couples who wish to minimize the costs and time associated with divorce. For divorce mediation to be successful, however, both parties must be open to compromise and committed to finding a middle ground. Moreover, mediation is most successful when both partners are on equal footing in the relationship. For this reason, victims of domestic abuse may not find mediation feasible. 

Contact A Divorce Mediation Attorney at the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury

Many couples wish to obtain a smooth and peaceful divorce. Mediation can help facilitate amicable decision-making and ensure that both parties are heard and acknowledged during the process. Whether divorce litigation, mediation, or both processes are necessary, seeking legal counsel can help ensure that your rights are upheld. Consider contacting an experienced divorce mediation attorney at the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury to learn more about your options today. 


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