divorce frequently asked questions
What is required for an uncontested no fault divorce in Virginia?
This is a divorce where both parties meet the statutory requirements for divorce in Virginia and have no contested issues. The ideal candidates for this type of divorce have entered into a separation agreement, have no children, and the non-moving party (the spouse who did not initiate the suit) has signed a valid waiver. The spouse who initiates the suit will typically appear in court with his/her witness and it will be over in a matter of minutes. If the non-moving party is an active duty service member and wishes not to appear, you'll want to execute an additional waiver to address this issue as well.
Should I hire a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?
The short answer is, yes. The better questions should be, "Why wouldn't you hire a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?" There are plenty of online services that will help facilitate this process for only a minimal investment. In fact, most attorneys doing this type of work tend not to charge very much either. Why not have an attorney with you for roughly the same price as it costs to do something online? Let your attorney file the paperwork, deal with the waiver and appear with you in court. It's worth the small investment if your situation is one which would benefit from this type of proceeding. If you are comfortable working online, have everything worked out, and do not require any legal advice, we have a low-cost online option available to you with Frugal Legal Services. Of course, if you need any legal advice, we can still meet at our prevailing hourly rate. The choice is yours!
What are the grounds for divorce in Virginia?
The Virginia Code outlines a number of fault-based grounds for divorce in Virginia. Among them are the standards such as adultery, imprisonment of a spouse for more than one year, abandonment for a year or more, and cruelty. If you feel you have a valid ground for divorce, you should speak with an attorney immediately. Some of the aforementioned grounds do not require a waiting period of any duration and other ramifications may be applicable as well. Long ago, divorces would only be granted when one of these fault-based grounds was present.More common these days, is the no-fault divorce. Virginia recognizes this type of divorce. In fact, it is by far the most common type of divorce we see in our practice, even in contested matters.
Will I qualify for a no-fault divorce?
In order to qualify for this type of divorce, a few requirements must be met:
If there are children from the marriage, the couple must be separated for a year or more prior to filing. The couple must have been separated for this period of time with the intent to remain separate and apart with no reconciliation possible. The same holds true for a couple without children from the marriage where there is no separation agreement. If a couple with no children from the marriage wishes to take advantage of a shorter duration of separation, there must be a validly executed separation agreement in effect. This shortens the period from one year to six months.
More often than not, contested divorces can drag out for a substantial period of time and cost a lot of money. It is often recommended that couples seek mediation prior to litigation whenever possible and the courts, in fact, will often order the parties into mediation.
If you're facing the prospect of divorce you should consider consulting with a competent attorney today. If you feel there is any possibility for reconciliation, we can help you with selecting programs for married couples and/or counseling. When reconciliation does not appear to be within the realm of possible outcomes, call us at 757-363-0077 to schedule a free 20-minute introductory consultation.