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What you should know about divorce in Virginia

| Apr 27, 2021 | Divorce |

When you have been going through issues in your marriage for a significant period of time, it is important that you are at least aware of the possible next steps. While filing for divorce may only be a distant possibility and the last resort if you are unable to make the marriage work through counseling and therapy, it is still important that you understand the process.

The laws on divorce and the division of marital property differ from state to state. The following is an overview of how divorce works in Virginia.

Residency requirements for divorce in Virginia

In order to divorce in Virginia, you or your divorcing spouse must have resided in Virginia at least six months before filing. If the filing spouse is a member of the armed forces who are stationed outside of the U.S., they will qualify for the Virginia residency requirements if they can show that they were resident in Virginia for the six months previous to being stationed abroad.

Virginia has no-fault divorce

It’s possible to file for a no-fault divorce in Virginia. However, to do so, it is necessary for spouses to live apart during a consecutive period of one year before filing. Alternatively, you can enter into a valid separation agreement and file for a no-fault divorce after six months if you have no minor children.

Virginia has grounds for a fault-based divorce

It is possible to cite fault-based grounds for divorce in Virginia, which may allow you to file for divorce more quickly, but it could be more stressful and conflict-ridden. You can do this by citing adultery, willful desertion, a reasonable fear of bodily harm or a felony conviction. You will need to provide proof when citing any of these grounds.

If you are unhappy in your marriage and living in Virginia, you should take the first steps toward the possibility of divorce by understanding how a divorce would look for you.