Getting a divorce Virginia style can be a complex thing to understand. According to the state of Virginia Code – Title 8 – Sections: 8.01-261, “In suits for annulment, affirmance, or divorce, the county or city in which the parties last cohabited, or at the option of the plaintiff, in the county or city in which the defendant resides, if a resident of this Commonwealth, and in cases in which an order of publication may be issued against the defendant under § 8.01-316, venue may also be in the county or city in which the plaintiff resides.”
In Virginia there are fault and no-fault divorce complaints that can be filed (in many states, this is called a “petition”, so in Virginia this is an important distinction that you need to know about).
For no-fault grounds, if the husband and wife have been separated and not had any sexual involvement continuously for one year, and you have at least one child, you can file on these grounds. If you and your spouse have a written separation agreement and there are no minor children involved as biological, step-, or adopted children, and you’ve been separated for at least six months before you apply for divorce, you can also get no-fault grounds divorce.
You can file on fault grounds in Virginia if:
*You can prove adultery or sodomy on the part of your spouse outside the marital agreement and without your consent.
*Your spouse has been convicted of a felony such that you have not lived with them or been able to have sex with them for at least one year before you filed for divorce.
*Your spouse has been “guilty of cruelty, caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willfully deserted or abandoned the other” according to Virginia Code – Title 20 – Sections: 20-91
Also, you need to know that Virginia is an “equitable distribution” state, so your property will be divided up by the court in a way that the court finds to be fair–and this will not necessarily be an equal (that is, a 50/50) distribution of property and assets.
Not all divorce settlements in Virginia will end up awarding one of you with spousal support from the other.
The bottom line is, if you are going for divorce Virginia style, you will need to get a hold of a good Virginia state lawyer who understands the state laws and case precedents inside and out, so that your interests can be protected. Don’t try to do anything regarding divorce without a lawyer.
For more information on getting a Divorce in Virginia, filing for divorce info and tips… go to the Divorce Virginia Blog.
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