At Hirsch & Ehlenberger PC, we take a client-first approach to the divorce process. From divorce pre-planning to representation in negotiations, mediation, and litigation, we work closely with our clients to protect what matters in the most cost-effective way possible.
Dealing with divorce is challenging, and spouses contemplating divorce must make important decisions that will have profound impacts on their lives and their children’s lives for years to come. Stress is normal, and if you have questions about where to even begin, you are not alone.
We understand your situation. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients throughout the divorce process in Northern Virginia, and we know just how difficult going through a divorce can be. While our primary focus is on the legal aspects of divorce, we are sensitive to the financial and emotional impacts of getting divorced, as well. Our goal with each client is to provide sound, personalized advice focused on securing a favorable outcome quickly, cost-effectively, and without unwarranted hostility.
Options for Getting Divorced in Northern Virginia
Among the numerous preliminary considerations when preparing for a divorce is the question of how your divorce will proceed. While your spouse will necessarily play a role in choosing the method you use to get divorced, it is important – especially at this early stage – to assert yourself and focus on pursuing the method that will best serve your long-term interests. Spouses in Virginia generally have four options when it comes to getting divorced:
Many couples are able to resolve their differences amicably through a negotiated settlement. Negotiating a settlement is often in both parties’ best interests, as it can reduce costs and save time, while providing added flexibility and avoiding contentious disputes that can have a negative impact on the couple’s children. It is important that both spouses have independent legal representation, and settlement agreements need to be drafted appropriately in order to avoid questions of ambiguity or enforceability down the line.
Mediation is a method of dispute resolution that involves the spouses and their attorneys working with a neutral third-party mediator. Unlike going to court, the mediation process is still relatively informal, and it does not result in a binding decision being made on behalf of the divorcing spouses. Instead, the mediator’s role is to help the spouses come to terms when they are unable to do so on their own.
In a collaborative divorce, the spouses negotiate a settlement with the understanding (as confirmed in a binding agreement) that they will work in good faith to resolve their differences without going to court. The collaborative model adds structure to the divorce process without the costs, formalities, and deadlines of litigation, and is an option worth considering for spouses who have significant assets or whose circumstances are likely to lead to a complicated divorce.
For some couples, litigation may be the only option. Whether negotiation is a non-starter or spouses reach an impasse during the divorce process, if they are unable to come to terms on their own, they will need to go to court. At Hirsch & Ehlenberger PC, while we seek to resolve our clients’ divorces amicably whenever possible, our lawyers are also deeply experienced in divorce litigation.
Key Issues That You Are Likely to Face During Your Divorce
Regardless of the method used, when going through a divorce, spouses will face a number of complex issues with both legal and financial implications. While Virginia law imposes guidelines and requirements that govern many aspects of the divorce process, spouses – particularly when they are able to work together – have a significant degree of flexibility when it comes to dividing their assets and establishing provisions for financial support and child custody. The key to mitigating the risk of post-divorce disputes is to be as comprehensive as possible. Our law firm ensures that our clients have addressed all of the issues requiring resolution during the divorce process.
In most circumstances, the primary issues that require resolution during a divorce include:
- Identification of separate and marital property Distribution of marital property (including homes, retirement accounts, and other high-value assets)
- College expenses, ownership of privately-held businesses, and other unique property-related issues
- Establishing child custody and visitation
- Establishing financial support obligations (e.g., child support and alimony)
- Speak with an attorney at Hirsch & Ehlenberger PC
If you would like more information about what to expect before, during, and after your divorce, contact Hirsch & Ehlenberger PC for an initial consultation. To speak with one of our experienced lawyers in confidence, call our law offices at (703) 481-6063 or inquire online today.