Started by a family law attorney in Minnesota more than 30 years ago, collaborative divorce is for a couple who wants to reach the best result for the family, even if that family may no longer be living together. This couple wants to work through their differences in a manner that benefits everyone in the process. The fundamental characteristic of collaborative divorce is that the parties agree at the beginning not to go to court.
Here’s how collaborative divorce works:
With your respective family law attorneys guiding you through the legal divorce issues, neutral experts come together to advise and work through several key issues, including child custody, visitation, child and spousal support, retirement, and property distribution.
These professional experts include divorce coaches, child specialists, and financial advisers; they make up your collaborative divorce team. While each adds an expense to the process, the process can ultimately reduce the cost of divorce by promoting cooperation and the support of experts for guidance.
The financial advisers work through asset/debt division, spousal support and any other financial or property related issues.
Mental health professionals, serving as coaches, ensure that emotions are kept on an even keel and that everyone comes out of the process healthy. Communication, of course, is always key. A coach or a child specialist can help develop a co-parenting plan, work out child support issues and make sure that the children are kept a priority.
After an agreement has been ironed out and reached, it is submitted to the court for the divorce finalization. Often, the parties never even have to go to the courthouse.
What are the benefits of using a collaborative divorce?
- Informal setting.
- Information exchange is free, open, and honest.
- Saves time.
- You can decide how to handle post-settlement disputes.
- You negotiate a result that works for everyone.
M&R Law attorney Andrew T. Richmond is educated and licensed to help clients through the collaborative divorce process. M&R Law’s team of support professionals work with family law issues every day, it’s our chosen area of the law.
Even the assistance of legal counsel can’t always help couples resolve the key issues necessary to terminate their marriage. In many cases, their dispute must be solved through the courts. These so-called “contested divorce” proceedings rely on a trial judge to resolve the often-difficult issues of property division, spousal support, and child custody, support, and visitation. Due to the complex nature of the hearings and their long-lasting implications, an experienced family law attorney is essential to protect your interests.
Our divorce lawyers work closely with you to understand all of the unique issues surrounding your separation and impending divorce. Mahoney & Richmond offers decades of experience to ensure that your long-term interests are protected and the results are returned in your favor.
Family law is all we do, and we will work hard to put our myriad resources to work for you as you navigate your way toward a new beginning.
Military Divorce And Benefits Division
Although the process surrounding the divorce of military personnel is no different than that faced by civilians, several factors related to military employment can make the process more difficult and time-consuming. To name just a few: military pensions, health insurance coverage, gross income calculations and the federal regulations determining the benefits to divorced spouses. Whether you are a member of the military or the spouse of a service member, you can depend on our divorce attorneys’ years of in-depth experience to represent your interests and rights under both federal and state laws.
Dividing the Property
Along with the normal Virginia property division laws, the federal government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) that governs how military retirement benefits are calculated and divided upon divorce. The USFSPA is the governing body that authorizes a direct payment of a portion of a military retirees pay to the former spouse.
The federal laws will not divide and distribute any of the military members retirement to the spouse unless they have been married 10 years or longer while the member has been active duty military.
Child Support and Spousal Support
In Virginia, both child support and spousal support/alimony awards may not exceed 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances. The normal Virginia child support guidelines, worksheets, and schedules are used to determine the proper amount of child support to be paid.
For these reasons, you need someone who understands the ins and outs of a military divorce in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mahoney & Richmond has traveled down this road many times and will work diligently to get the best results for our clients.
Separation Agreements/Uncontested Divorces
Separation agreements help couples avoid costly, stressful and time-consuming courtroom disputes over the likes of property, assets, debts, spousal support and child custody. However, signing a binding separation agreement without a knowledgeable legal family law advocate can result in years of consequences. Whether you choose us to draft your separation agreement, or look to us to review one drafted by your spouse’s attorney, we can help you understand your rights and negotiate terms that protect your interests.