Legal Grounds for Divorce in Virginia

If the spouses can agree on divorce matters, they can make a separation agreement. A separation agreement sets out the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to debts and matrimonial property after a divorce. If the couple has children, the separation agreement will likely also address child support and custody and access. Even if the parties agree in a separation agreement on custody, support and access issues, the court must approve the agreement to ensure it is in the best interests of the child. The existence of a separation agreement gives spouses greater control over the disposition of property, rather than letting the court decide. Separation agreements may also cover matters over which the court does not have jurisdiction, such as post-secondary education fees. Whether or not you should go to court depends on the type of case you have. If you have an uncontested divorce, no one may have to appear in court and you and a corroborating witness may be able to take affidavits in our office. If you have a contested divorce, you will have to go to court and a judge will decide all the unresolved issues. Desertion or deliberate abandonment: Abandonment is an interruption of conjugal cohabitation and the intention to desert is required.

If one of the spouses leaves the marital home because the other has committed acts constituting cruelty, the spouse who leaves the marriage is not guilty of abandonment. This spouse may in fact have grounds for divorce based on cruelty or implied abandonment. If you have reasons to give up, you can file for legal divorce immediately after the separation begins, and if you have lived apart and separated for more than a year, the abandonment is sufficient to establish a ground for divorce from marital ties. You can only divorce from your room and pension if you claim that your spouse has: This is the crucial issue in most divorces. In determining custody of minor children (under the age of 18), the court is guided by one standard: the best interests of the child. The court may award “joint custody” if both parents have a role in decisions about the child, or “sole custody” if one parent is ultimately responsible for decisions made in the best interests of the child. Custody is not given to a parent as a reward or taken away from a parent as punishment. Rather, custody is given to the parent who best suits the task of caring for the child and is able to control and direct the child. In addition, custody can be changed if circumstances change significantly after the divorce date.

We`ve designed this interactive online interview to see if your situation is suitable for a divorce without a lawyer. During this online interview, we also collect the necessary information so that you can print out the briefs and forms you need to file for divorce through no fault of your own, if your situation is appropriate. There is no such thing as a “quick” divorce in Virginia. You must be legally separated from your spouse for 6 to 12 months (depending on the children, reasons for the divorce, etc.) before you can start divorce proceedings. Uncontested divorces are usually much cheaper and take less time than contested divorces. However, each divorce will be different and will take different durations. In some cases, bad behavior, such as adultery and other acts listed in Virginia`s divorce laws, means that the victim can be spared any spousal support. However, Virginia`s divorce laws allow for certain exceptions. For example, if you make a lot more money than your spouse, you may be responsible for spousal support, even if your partner cheated on you. Military divorce cases involve a complex overlap of federal and state law and present particular challenges for divorce members, spouses, and their attorneys.

For more information on military divorce, including retirement benefits, disability benefits, the Civil Military Assistance Act, the Survivor Benefit Plan, and Tricare benefits, check out our guide to military divorce in Virginia. But once a spouse meets the legal requirements to file for divorce, the process becomes quite simple. The plaintiff files the complaint itself, which usually contains the following information: Spousal support problems arise in divorces where the parties have been married for a long time and there is a significant income gap. In these cases, it can be very difficult to determine an appropriate level and duration of spousal support (called “alimony” in other states). Our divorce lawyers are very familiar with the factors considered by the courts when determining spousal support and the significant tax consequences that are often related to child support. For more information, including how the courts determine spousal assistance in Virginia, spousal assistance policies, and the tax consequences of spousal support, see Spousal Support in Virginia. Given the percentage of marriages that end in divorce, anyone could be affected by separation or divorce in some way. The dissolution of a marriage often involves property rights and financial matters and can raise complex legal issues, especially when children are involved. This section provides basic information about divorce law in Virginia. For more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of the state while a divorce is in progress, visit our general page on divorce. To watch short videos on divorce in Spanish with English subtitles, visit our videos page. To learn more about the court process, visit our Preparing for Trial – Alone page.

But what if you don`t have willpower? Under Virginia`s divorce laws, the surviving spouse must receive the entire estate of the deceased spouse, unless the surviving spouse had children from a separate relationship. In this case, the children and the surviving spouse would divide the estate. If the beneficiary spouse experiences a significant change, such as the loss of a job, Virginia`s divorce laws allow them to request an increase in payments. The court would allow or reject this application on the basis of some of the same factors it determined when establishing spousal maintenance. Separation: If you and your spouse have been living apart for more than a year, without living together and with the intention that the separation remains permanent, you can divorce the marital relationship. If you and your spouse do not have minor children or children and have entered into a property agreement that resolves all property, alimony, and other issues, the period leading up to the petition for divorce will be reduced from one year to six months. However, Virginia`s divorce laws prevent a spouse from receiving more than 50% of the marriage share of the account. Virginia law defines marital partie as the total interest earned between the date of marriage and the date of separation. A property settlement agreement is a written contract between the parties that sets out their rights, duties and obligations arising from their separation and divorce, which may include things like division of their property, spousal support, legal fees, custody of their children and child support.

Such agreements are encouraged because they can settle each spouse`s rights to the other`s estate and property amicably. The skills and experience of a lawyer can be particularly helpful in negotiating and creating a fair, equitable and appropriate asset settlement agreement for the parties and their children. If the couple has no children from the wedlock (including adopted children), both spouses must have been separated for at least six months. In legal terms, separation means that both spouses must have different sleep arrangements and have no physical relationship at all. In addition, both must sign a separation agreement. This document must clearly indicate how they intend to divide property and assets. If they do not reach a conclusion, the court will intervene. There is no legal requirement that you continue to live in Virginia after filing for divorce. However, you must remain involved in your case, and hearing dates may be required. However, each plan administrator has their own guidelines for dealing with QDOs in order to comply with federal regulations. Both parties should know these rules before entering into a separation agreement or seeking court assistance to resolve a disputed divorce.

Controversies over custody, child support, and spousal support are usually heard by a district court judge. In some cases, for example where there are not yet grounds for divorce, these cases may be heard independently of the divorce action before a district juvenile and family relations court. Depending on the practice of a particular location, evidence in a divorce case may be obtained in the office of a lawyer representing one of the parties, in the office of a commissioner appointed by the court to collect evidence, or in a courtroom before a judge.