Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 11. Uniform Collaborative Law Act

§ 20-168. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

"Collaborative law communication" means a statement, whether oral or in a record, or verbal or nonverbal, that (i) is made to conduct, participate in, continue, or reconvene a collaborative law process and (ii) occurs after the parties sign a collaborative law participation agreement and before the collaborative law process is concluded.

"Collaborative law participation agreement" means an agreement by persons to participate in a collaborative law process.

"Collaborative law process" means a procedure intended to resolve a collaborative matter without intervention by a tribunal in which persons sign a collaborative law participation agreement and are represented by collaborative lawyers.

"Collaborative lawyer" means a lawyer who represents a party in a collaborative law process.

"Collaborative matter" means a dispute, transaction, claim, problem, or issue for resolution that is described in a collaborative law participation agreement and that is between family or household members or arises under the family or domestic relations laws of the Commonwealth, 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.

"Family abuse" has the same meaning as set forth in § 16.1-228.

"Family or household member" has the same meaning as set forth in § 16.1-228.

"Law firm" means (i) lawyers who practice law together in a partnership, professional corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or association or (ii) lawyers employed together in (a) a legal services organization or (b) the legal department of another organization.

"Nonparty participant" means a person, other than a party and the party's collaborative lawyer, that participates in a collaborative law process.

"Party" means a person who signs a collaborative law participation agreement and whose consent is necessary to resolve a collaborative matter.

"Proceeding" means a judicial, administrative, arbitral, or other adjudicative process before a tribunal, including related prehearing and post-hearing motions, conferences, and discovery.

"Prospective party" means a person who discusses with a prospective collaborative lawyer the possibility of signing a collaborative law participation agreement.

"Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

"Related to a collaborative matter" means involving the same parties, transaction or occurrence, nucleus of operative fact, dispute, claim, or issue as the collaborative matter.

"Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record, to (i) execute or adopt a tangible symbol or (ii) attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process.

"Tribunal" means a court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity that, after presentation of evidence or legal argument, has jurisdiction to render a decision affecting a party's interest in a matter.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 346.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.