My friend and mentor Virginia Colin, Ph.D., has written The Guide to Low-Cost Divorce in Virginia, a must have book for anyone who lives in the state and is contemplating separation and divorce. The book gives the reader the basic steps and a general overview of the divorce process in the state. It dispenses practical advice on how to keep costs down, take care of yourself, help your children thrive, obtain legal counsel when necessary, and develop a parenting plan. The book also discusses temporary and long term spousal support and child support.
I first met Virginia when I was looking for a family mediator to mentor me as part of the Virginia Supreme Court requirements to observe, and then co-mediate, a number of family cases in order to obtain family mediator certification. Virginia is an experienced family mediator and is the founder of Colin Family Mediation Group. She has assembled an extremely talented group of mediators who help families work through the issues that are affecting them. Virginia was a brilliant mentor, and I learned so much from observing a case she mediated, and then co-mediating numerous sessions of another case with her that involved post-divorce issues. Virginia is excellent at identifying all of the issues that are at play, understanding each party’s perspective, and creating a warm, safe environment where each party feels comfortable discussing -- and resolving -- very personal matters.
Virginia wears many professional hats. She is a radio talk show host at VoiceAmerica and regularly discusses challenges facing today’s families and how to help families in addressing those challenges. She also excels at bringing people together. She is a founding member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) and recently, as co-chair, played a leading role in organizing an outstanding international APFM conference. Virginia is a leader and a true visionary in the field of mediation. It is my privilege and my honor to know her, and I am continually looking for opportunities where we can work together again!l
Ellice Halpern, J.D., is a Virginia Supreme Court certified general and family mediator.