Divorce may be one of the most difficult life trials you will ever have to deal with. It is understandable that you and other Virginia residents would want to get through this stressful process as smoothly as possible. You might consider an uncontested divorce option, such as mediation or collaborative law. However, you should realize that these options are not for everyone. In some cases, traditional litigation might be the wiser choice.

According to the American Bar Association, mediation works by involving a neutral third party in helping you and your soon-to-be-ex resolve your disputes outside of court. This process is often less costly and time-consuming than taking your disputes to a judge. Uncontested divorce may also reduce conflict and is known to be private, rather than a matter of public record, as with a court divorce. You should understand, however, that in order for mediation to be the most effective, you and your spouse should be able to treat each other with respect, be willing to compromise and able to approach issues with an open mind.

On the other hand, litigation may be necessary in cases of domestic violence or substance abuse. If you or your spouse are unable to treat each other civilly or your spouse attempts to manipulate or intimidate you, mediation is unlikely to be effective. For these reasons, it is important to be informed of your options. Since divorce can be a complex and volatile topic, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.