MDMB, PLLC is pleased to announce that after a successful 2021 legislative session, a number of important new divorce laws are set to take effect in Virginia on July 1st.
HB 1911 No-Fault Divorce: Corroboration Requirement
Beginning on July 1, individuals wishing to obtain a no-fault divorce in Virginia will no longer be subject to the antiquated corroborating witness requirement. This change will make divorce more accessible and affordable to residents of Virginia. We are grateful for the efforts of MDMB partner Jennifer A. Bradley who worked to advance HB 1911 in 2021 after an unsuccessful attempt in 2020. You can learn more about the history of the corroborating witness requirement in our other posts: 2020 No-Fault Divorce: No More Corroborating Witness Requirements in Virginia? and 2020 update.
While the pandemic may have brought this issue to the forefront this year, it has been a long-standing unnecessary and irrational burden for decades. The sole purpose of this law was to make it more challenging for Virginia residents to get divorced, so we are pleased that our clients will no longer be subject to this unreasonable requirement when seeking a no-fault divorce in Virginia.
Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA)
Family law has changed and evolved over the years. A relatively new form of the divorce process that is increasingly popular for divorcing families is a Collaborative Divorce.
The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) states that the Collaborative Process:
- Empowers you to resolve your legal disputes without judges, magistrates or court personnel making decisions for you.
- Provides you with specially trained Collaborative lawyers, mental health and financial professionals to educate, support and guide you in reaching balanced, respectful and lasting agreements.
- Offers you a safe and dignified environment to reduce the conflict and minimize its impact on you, your children, your family and your life.
HB 1852 has officially enacted the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) in Virginia, which provides a framework for the practice of collaborative law, a process entered into voluntarily by divorcing spouses for the express purpose of reaching a settlement in a family or domestic relations matter, including (i) marriage, divorce, dissolution, annulment, and property distribution; (ii) child custody, visitation, and parenting time; (iii) alimony, spousal support, maintenance, and child support; (iv) adoption; (v) parentage; and (vi) negotiation or enforcement of premarital, marital, and separation agreements. The Act governs disclosure of relevant information, privilege against disclosure of communications within the Collaborative Process, and the scope of representation by the attorneys in the proceeding. (HB 1852 Uniform Collaborative Law Act; created)
Common Collaborative law matters include divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal support, and premarital agreements. Individuals often find the Collaborative Process to be preferable to the traditional divorce process as it is often less acrimonious, tailored to the needs of the individuals involved and prioritized the needs of the family as a whole, it utilizes the invaluable expertise of mental health professionals and child development specialists, and it is completely confidential. Learn more about the unique aspects of the Collaborative Process here: What is Collaborative Divorce?
We are pleased to see Virginia update its laws to officially recognize and approve of the growing field of Collaborative law.
If you have questions about a no-fault divorce or a Collaborative Divorce, the award-winning attorneys at MDMB are ready to help answer your questions. Schedule a consultation today to learn how this new legislation could impact your family.