Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 11. Uniform Collaborative Law Act
8/16/2022

§ 20-171. Beginning and concluding collaborative law process.

A. A collaborative law process begins when the parties sign a collaborative law participation agreement.

B. A tribunal shall not order a party to participate in a collaborative law process over such party's objection.

C. A collaborative law process is concluded by a:

1. Resolution of a collaborative matter as evidenced by a signed record;

2. Resolution of a part of the collaborative matter, evidenced by a signed record, in which the parties agree that the remaining parts of the matter will not be resolved in the process; or

3. Termination of the process.

D. A collaborative law process terminates:

1. When a party gives notice to his collaborative lawyer and to other parties in a record that the process is ended;

2. When a party:

a. Begins a proceeding related to a collaborative matter without the agreement of all parties; or

b. In a pending proceeding related to the matter, (i) initiates a pleading, motion, order to show cause, or request for a conference with the tribunal; (ii) requests that the proceeding be put on the tribunal's active docket; or (iii) takes similar action requiring notice to be sent to the parties; or

3. Except as otherwise provided by subsection G, when a party discharges a collaborative lawyer or a collaborative lawyer withdraws from further representation of a party.

E. A party's collaborative lawyer shall give prompt notice to all other parties in a record of a discharge or withdrawal.

F. A party may terminate a collaborative law process with or without cause.

G. Notwithstanding the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer, a collaborative law process continues if, not later than 30 days after the date that the notice of the discharge or withdrawal of a collaborative lawyer required by subsection E is sent to the parties:

1. The unrepresented party engages a successor collaborative lawyer; and

2. In a signed record:

a. The parties consent to continue the process by reaffirming the collaborative law participation agreement;

b. The collaborative law participation agreement is amended to identify the successor collaborative lawyer; and

c. The successor collaborative lawyer confirms the lawyer's representation of a party in the collaborative process.

H. A collaborative law process does not conclude if, with the consent of the parties, a party requests a tribunal to approve a resolution of the collaborative matter or any part of such matter as evidenced by a signed record, including any orders necessary to effectuate the terms of an agreement reached in the collaborative law process and evidenced in a signed record.

I. A collaborative law participation agreement may provide additional methods of concluding a collaborative law process.

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.