Monday, January 12, 2015

Resolving Divorce Through a Judicial Settlement Conference

In Virginia, we have a great option for people going through a divorce.  While in any type of legal case, both parties can always come to a settlement agreement without involving a third party, Virginia provides an experienced third party to help the parties resolve their differences.

This is called a judicial settlement conference.  As with any settlement conference, the parties sit down and try to work through each issue until it is resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  In a judicial settlement conference, a retired judge helps the parties come to that resolution.

So now you might be thinking why involve a retired judge instead of trying to resolve it on your own?  A retired judge has the experience of knowing what many judges are likely to do when faced with your facts and circumstances.  He/she may be able to provide some insight to help you see what might happen if you do not resolve the case before trial.  A retired judge also has the experience of understanding the emotions that come into play when you are going through a divorce and may be able to help you separate your emotions from the facts that you need to deal with in order to resolve the case.

Involving a third neutral party in settlement negotiations can always be helpful because that person has no real interest in how the case is resolved.  Using a retired judge as that third party provides you with someone who knows the law and is experienced in the law to help you resolve the issues to the best of your ability.

If a judicial settlement conference is unsuccessful, the parties always have the option to continue negotiations or take the case to trial and have a judge rule on all of the issues.  If you are going through a divorce, a judicial settlement conference may be a good avenue for you to attempt to resolve the case as amicably as possible.

If you are thinking about divorce or in the process of a divorce and would like a consultation, please contact us at (804) 447-0146 or