Our Services – Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia

Collaborative Divorce and Other Services

If you are considering legal separation or divorce and would prefer to minimize the emotional damage for you and your children, stay in control of the final outcome, and ensure that your divorce does not turn into a costly extended legal battle, we encourage you to consider the Collaborative method of divorce. As the name implies, a Collaborative Divorce involves you and your spouse working together to reach a settlement rather than going to court to fight against each other. The team of professionals at the Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia provides comprehensive support to couples who are seeking this family-friendly method of getting divorced. A team typically includes attorneys to guide you through the important legal issues, financial advisors to help you address questions of income and asset/debt division, and mental health professionals serving as divorce coaches/child specialists to aid you through the communication obstacles and emotional challenges faced by everyone in your family. Follow the links below to learn more about the various aspects of Collaborative Divorce and the services we offer at Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia.

Collaborative Divorce

Those who have first-hand experience with divorce will often tell you that it was by far the most emotionally challenging and financially draining experience of their lives, but this does not have to be true for you! Our team of professionals can help you fully explore and resolve all the important legal and financial aspects of divorce in a way that maximizes cooperation and communication, and minimizes emotional stress. This enables you and those that you love to move forward in the best possible position to begin to a new chapter in your lives.

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Marital Agreements

If you and your spouse are interested in reducing the potential for conflict over economic rights and possession of property, both during your marriage and in the event of a possible divorce, it is advisable to clearly lay out a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These agreements must be taken into account in the event of a divorce. Our collaborative team can work with you to create this important document with minimal stress and maximum efficiency. Marital agreements can be drafted before a couple is married, during the marriage or when a couple is in the process of separation or divorce.

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Co-Parenting

Divorce is fraught with emotional trauma for children. It is typically the highest priority of divorcing parents to do everything possible to minimize the negative impact on the children. By working with the specialists at CDC, the emotional stress and trauma that your children may suffer as a result of the divorce process will be addressed with care and professionalism. Our co-parenting coaches will assist you in working out the terms of an agreement that lays a solid foundation for you to effectively co-parent, communicate and relate to one another. You will be helped to develop a well-conceived co-parenting plan that will implement mutually agreed upon guidelines as to how you will share in the daily responsibilities of raising your children going forward.

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Child Custody

For many couples, sharing time with the children (child custody) is one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Both parents feel strongly about protecting their right to help guide and participate in their children’s lives, and spend as much time as possible with them. Children are so precious and important to us that the issue of child custody often engenders strong emotion, which impacts our ability to clearly communicate our own interests, wishes and goals, as well as those of our children. At the Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia, divorce coaches (co-parenting coaches) work cooperatively, alongside your lawyers to help calm strong emotion and utilize effective communication strategies and techniques enabling workable solutions to which both parents can agree.

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Child Support

Both parents have a legal responsibility to provide for their children’s economic needs. This is as true in Virginia Beach and the Greater Hampton Roads Area as in other areas. Unfortunately in a litigated divorce, one or both parents may feel that the judge’s decision is unfair to them, leaving them with a financial burden they had not expected and may not be able to manage. At the Collaborative Divorce Center, a neutral financial specialist works side by side with you and your lawyer, allowing you to maintain control of decisions with regard to child support. The financial specialist will provide a clear financial picture of income, assets and debts both currently and in the future. The result is that parents work collaboratively to develop an agreement which does not unfairly burden either of them financially, while at the same time providing the needed support as parents share the parenting responsibilities of their children.

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Child Visitation

The family law courts in Virginia Beach and the Tidewater area do not give either parent preference when determining child custody and visitation. In a court-based litigated divorce, your future and the future of your children is left in the hands of the lawyers and/or the judge. Often, the issue of custody comes down to how well your lawyer argues your case. The judge, knowing little about you or your children makes the final decision. Unfortunately, a judge can determine that one parent has custody while the other receives only “reasonable visitation.” By working with Collaborative Divorce Center, you maintain control of the decisions. We help you develop agreements that you feel address the best interests, goals and needs of your family and safeguards the well-being of your children by making sure each parent is strongly present in their lives. In a Collaborative Divorce you remain in control of your fate and the fate of your children.

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Prenuptial Agreements

Our team of professionals includes attorneys, financial specialists, and mental health professionals (who serve as communications specialists). We assist you in executing a prenuptial agreement that safeguards both parties’ best interests and serves to contribute to the longevity of your marriage by eliminating uncertainty over economic rights and responsibilities.

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Estate Preservation and Division

Estate Planning issues change as the result of divorce. The team at Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia is ready to assist you in crafting documents that will incorporate your new agreements into the restructured co-parenting families.

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Unmarried Partners

As more couples or partners live together for extended periods of time without marrying, couples accumulate shared assets, property, and perhaps shared debt, in addition to children born into the relationship. Unmarried couples who separate will often have to deal with the same issues as divorcing couples, such as division of assets, custody and support, and co-parenting arrangements.

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Separation

If you are considering filing for divorce and are curious about the issue of ‘separation’, it is important to know that the ‘separation period’ begins at the point that there is a ‘physical separation’ between you and your spouse. The matrimonial laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia require that this ‘separation period’ be one year if you have minor children who will be involved in the divorce discussions, or six months if you have no minor children. The period of separation gives you and your spouse the opportunity to reconcile your marriage or to determine that divorce is most appropriate course of action.

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