Virginia and separation and marriage

To obtain a divorce in Virginia, most couples will first have to live separately for one year. But if you do not have minor children, and if you already have a separation agreement, a divorce may be obtained after only six months. Virginia allows no-fault divorce on either of these grounds:.

Divorce in Virginia

If you seek a no-fault divorce on the basis of the first option — a one-year separation with no formal separation agreement — how can you demonstrate to the court that you and your spouse have in fact been separated for a full year? In many cases, when one partner or the other decides to dissolve a marriage, there may be a text message, a voice mail, or an email that indicates a date.

It is best to corroborate the date that your separation begins with some kind of documentation — or with a formal separation agreement.

What's Below

Of course, you and your partner may live separately for any length of time, but if you intend to use a formal separation agreement as the basis for a divorce here in Virginia, you must live separately from your spouse and have the agreement in effect for a minimum of six months. Along with no-fault divorce, Virginia also permits divorce based on fault, on grounds such as cruelty, abandonment, and adultery.

To protect yourself, your children, and your interests, it is best to consult a qualified Virginia divorce lawyer or a family law attorney before you take any action to initiate a separation or a divorce.


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Before you sign any document regarding a separation or a divorce — even an informal agreement — discuss the practical and legal ramifications of the agreement with your family law attorney. Your attorney will see to it that you — and your kids, if you are a parent — are treated fairly in a separation or a divorce and that your rights and your long-term interests are fully protected.

In some cases, separating from a spouse can be almost as difficult — practically and emotionally — as divorcing a spouse. Separation and divorce are never easy. There is always an emotional cost, and if you and your spouse are parents, ending your marriage will be even harder.

What if I or my spouse has committed adultery?

You will need a lawyer who will be sensitive to your needs but aggressive when protecting your rights and interests. When you are ready to separate, or if you know the marriage is going to end, get the legal help you need at once. You must have the sound legal advice, the insights, guidance, and aggressive legal representation that an experienced Roanoke family law attorney can provide.

Used Mr. Weston to update our wills.

Virginia Legal Separation - Hofheimer Family Law Firm

Extremely professional and courteous. Asked questions we hadn't even cons Weston has provided legal expertise for our family over the years. If you and your spouse have shared minor children, you should be aware of child custody laws in Virginia , as well as state laws pertaining to child support guidelines and child support enforcement. The divorce process can be difficult both legally and emotionally, and you may find meeting with an attorney can help -- especially if your spouse has legal representation.


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  • If you're thinking about getting divorced, or in the middle of your divorce, it's a good idea to get in touch with a skilled divorce attorney in Virginia who can guide you through the process and help protect your interests. Find your Lawyer Explore Resources For Learn About the Law.

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