People going through a divorce can experience new emotions, responsibilities, and concerns that they never considered before. Adding the various tasks of successful divorce proceedings under Virginia divorce laws on top of all this can be challenging, which is why so many turn to a trusted divorce attorney for assistance.
Below is a reference list for those getting divorced in Virginia — please note that this is not legal advice.
Grounds, Filing, and Process Facts for Divorce in Virginia
The first thing you need to know is that you or your spouse must have six months of residency in Virginia before filing for divorce in the state.
In Virginia, the circuit courts handle divorces. Most other states provide the official court forms you will need, but Virginia does not. And because each county has the authority to set its own rules, you’ll need to go to the courthouse in person or visit their website to be sure you are filling out the correct forms and following the proper local procedures for your county’s court.
You will also need to know which type of divorce you need to file.
There are many different types of divorces. Like all other states in the United States, Virginia allows for no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces are the most common because they usually cause the least amount of anxiety, familial strain, and expense. Because neither side makes allegations of fault, these cases often resolve without trial. An uncontested divorce means that all issues have been resolved and is the easiest to complete.
However, Virginia is one of the remaining states that allow spouses to file for divorce on fault grounds. Here are some of the conditions for those grounds.
- Adultery. One partner must bring proof of the other partner’s extramarital relations to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
- Cruelty. For some families, living together becomes unsafe, and bodily harm or the threat of bodily harm becomes a fact of life. In this case, a spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of cruelty.
- Abandonment or desertion: If one spouse leaves the other with no intention to return and is gone for more than a year, the remaining spouse is considered deserted or abandoned and may file for divorce.
- Conviction of a felony. If one partner is convicted of a felony and spends a year or more in confinement, that also counts as grounds for divorce in Virginia.
You’ll also want to keep in mind the nature of equitable distribution laws. Most states now follow these equitable distribution laws, which consider marriage an equal partnership between partners. The law classifies all property into three categories: separate property, marital property, and part marital and part separate property (hybrid property). In mediation, the two sides will divide the marital property and work out any financial issues, such as spousal support or child custody.
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We are here to guide you if you are considering a divorce or going through a divorce and don’t know where to begin. Call 800-516-3964 or contact us here to speak with our experienced and compassionate team of attorneys today.