When our readers in Virginia think of couples who are going through a divorce, the word “cooperation” likely does not come to mind. After all, a divorce is oftentimes the result of months or even years of built-up animosity, leading to the decision to end the marriage as the best option in a bad situation. However, as a recent news article mentioned, there are a couple of creative options for divorcing couples who may be able to hold their emotions in check and focus on getting through the various legal issues in a divorce case: collaborative divorce and mediation.

As the article mentions, both of these options are fair less formal than courtroom litigation. Mediation, however, is the more “indirect” of these two options. In divorce mediation, a neutral third-party mediator will usually go back-and-forth between two separate rooms where the divorcing spouses are located with their attorneys, trading information and ideas and attempting to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to all involved.

Collaborative divorce, on the other hand, is even more “cooperative.” In the typical collaborative law session in a divorce case, all of the parties will meet together in the same room to go through the wide variety of legal issues that might be present in any given divorce case and discuss potential solutions among all involved. As our readers can imagine, this can be difficult for divorcing couples who have significant negative emotions stored up, or who simply cannot agree with each other for any reason.

For those soon-to-be ex-spouses who believe they may be able to work together, even if it is working toward a split of their relationship, these two creative approaches to divorce can be quite beneficial. Our readers in Virginia who are interested in learning more about these potential options will likely need to get more information about their own unique legal situations.