Processes

LITIGATION AND ALTERNATIVE PROCESSES 

Finding yourself facing a family law related issue can be one of the most stressful experiences you may experience.  At Grenadier, Starace, Duffett & Levi, we understand how important your family is and how difficult the process may seem.  We are here for you every step of the way. There are a multitude of legal components to deal with in addition to all the emotional pain and struggles that accompany divorce or separation. Our firm has practiced family law for over forty years.  We understand what your family is going through, and we are here to help guide your way through your family’s legal issues.

FAMILY LAW PROCESS OPTIONS EXPLAINED:

Navigating family law issues can be tough, but there are many different ways to go about resolving them, which are outlined below. Not everyone will go through every step and which process, or processes, you choose depends on several variables, including how well both parties are able to cooperate with one another as they go through the divorce or separation process.  Below you’ll find a brief description of each step of the process. Click the title of the process to learn more and discuss each with your lawyer so you can be sure you are choosing the option that maximizes your chance of success and brings your matter to a resolution.

Divorce Planning: Properly planning your divorce is one of the most important aspects of the process. This planning takes place at the beginning and at the end of each stage. Begin by meeting with your attorney to gain an understanding of what’s necessary to obtain a divorce pursuant to Virginia law.  With the guidance of your attorney, you’ll come away from our office with a plan for the grounds for divorce and all related matters.

Negotiation:  Many clients are able to settle their disputes through negotiation, where both parties and their attorneys exchange proposals on how to resolve their legal issue.  You can and should be assured that your attorney will ensure your interests are well represented in the same manner that would be accomplished in court.

Mediation:  Sometimes your lawyer may recommend that you bring in a third party to help resolve your dispute. If a mediator is retained, our firm tends to recommend a former judge who has been trained in divorce mediation to provide impartial assistance in resolving your case. 

Collaboration: Collaborative lawyers are trained to work cooperatively to resolve a legal issue.  At the outset, both parties agree not to litigate, but rather, resolve their case through negotiation and/or mediation. This special process requires parties to be open with each other about the case and his/her needs throughout the process.  Both parties must be represented by lawyers who are trained in Collaborative Law. 

Arbitration: Disputes are sometimes resolved through binding arbitration. This process involves a third party representative who is empowered by the parties to hear both sides and make a binding ruling.  The arbitration takes place outside of the courtroom but is binding on the parties nonetheless.   

Litigation: Most cases begin in litigation.  The process of litigation involves filing motions and pleadings, taking party and witness depositions, exchanging discovery requests, and ultimately preparing the matter to be tried in front of a judge who will make the decision at a final hearing.

If you have questions about what process makes the most sense for your matter, please contact us at 703-683-9000 to schedule an appointment at either our Reston or Alexandria offices.

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