VIRGINIA COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE
THE COST OF DIVORCE- PART IV
The majority of parties divorcing in Virginia have difficult decisions to make regarding the division of assets and debts. In the Virginia collaborative divorce process the parties have the option of engaging collaborative financial professionals to assist them in evaluating their current financial status and to assist them in formulating a plan for the survival of their restructured family.
In traditional Virginia divorce litigation, the parties come forward, each entrenched in their position as to what assets they want to keep for themselves, what portion of the debt they are willing to assume, and whether they will demand spousal support or pay spousal support, and if so, how much and for how long. The parties then hire and pay for their separate professionals to support their positions. What the parties are facing then are competing professionals. Not only will the professional charge hourly for the work they do to evaluate, review and report on the particular issues, the professional will then be paid per hour by the party for the day(s) they testify in court. Often anything gained in a trial has already been expended for the professionals. At trial, the Judge is presented with competing views, and the parties are then putting their financial viability in the hands of a Judge who does not know them or their children and who unfortunately does not have the expertise or luxury of time to devote to comprehensive financial planning, and the parties leave their trial on shaky ground, not quite sure how the Judge’s ruling will help them pay their bills, save for their future, or support their children.