Step 4: Do it yourself or hire someone?
Representing Yourself (Lowest Cost)
Divorce is a complex process, but if you are confident that you can understand the legal terms, Latin and navigate the administrative process, you may wish to oversee the divorce yourself. While thousands of people in Virginia do complete the divorce process without the services of a qualified attorney each year, in the vast majority of these cases, these are straightforward, uncontested divorces.
To assist you in this process, online divorce services offer a Do-It-Yourself divorce guide with forms and a step by step tutorial. Using a service like 3StepDivorce.com, you can be confident that you will complete the divorce process with minimal cost and difficulty.
Mediation (Mid-range Cost)
Many courts in Virginia strongly encourage divorcing couples to seek third-party mediation. a divorce mediator is a neutral party who attempts to reconcile you and your spouse so that a divorce becomes unnecessary. If this remains impossible, then a mediator may attempt to broker a settlement regarding the major issues. The key advantage of mediation is that it may limit the costs involved. Mediators typically charge less than attorneys and can often prevent any need to proceed to marriage dissolution. When a divorce is inevitable, a mediated settlement can eliminate the need for attorneys and facilitate an uncontested divorce.
Legal Representation (Highest Cost)
If you and your spouse are unable to resolve your differences and a court trial becomes necessary, you are strongly advised to hire a divorce attorney. An attorney will possess the expertise required to negotiate with opposing counsel, judges, and other key parties. They will also have knowledge of how to make motions, file petitions and conduct discovery investigations.
- It is likely your spouse will hire an attorney to represent their interests
- Attorneys provide the greatest chance for a favorable outcome
- An attorney can devote their full time to managing the months-long case