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Do you have to go through mediation before divorcing?

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2022 | Divorce

When you’re going through a divorce, one of the things that can make it easier is going into mediation with your spouse. Mediation brings you together with a third party to discuss your options and to make sure you both have unbiased information.

Mediation can work well for those who are willing to work together. It can also be a good way to resolve minor disputes if you and your spouse are happy to hear some potential options to resolve them or get some guidance from a third party.

Is mediation necessary?

Mediation is not required in Virginia. In fact, by law, you don’t have to go through mediation before you get a divorce like you might have to in other states even though you will go to a dispute resolution orientation session in some cases. However, mediation is still a good idea. It gives you an opportunity to work out problems you have with one another now, so you can avoid trouble in the future. You might also be able to keep your case largely out of court and make sure you and your spouse get more of what you want out of your marriage by saving time, money and effort with mediation.

Mediation can be helpful if you need to work out child custody issues, have concerns about property division or need help resolving other kinds of disputes. You and your spouse are allowed to each have your own attorneys as well as the third-party mediator present, so you get the information you need and have someone on your side to help you work out what’s in your best interests.

One of the better facts about mediation that people don’t know is that it is nonbinding in most cases. That means that you can try it, and if you don’t like the outcome, you can decide not to go through with the agreement.

There’s nothing to lose if you choose to mediate. You may want to consider it as a good option for resolving your disputes, even though you aren’t required to mediate by law. It could save you time, money, and energy, helping you end your marriage with less conflict.