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How To File Divorce In Virginia

Virginia Requirements For Divorce

How to File a Divorce in Virginia
  • At least one spouse must have resided in the Commonwealth of Virginia for at least six continuous months

  • If there are no children involved, the couple must have been separated for at least six months and there must be a written property settlement agreement prior to filing

  • For couples with children, the couple must have separated for at least 12 months prior to filing

  • You must file for divorce in a Virginia county where you and/or your spouse have resided

  • Virginia recognizes two forms of divorce: divorce from bed and board, or Divorce from the bond of matrimony. a divorce from bed and board is a partial divorce which establishes a legal separation but does not permit remarriage. a divorce from the bond of matrimony is a full and absolute dissolution of the marriage.

How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Virginia

Divorce in Virginia can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $14,000 for a contested case. An uncontested divorce is cheaper, but if spouses proceed with a lawyer, theyll pay $280-$330 per hour.

With VirginiaOnlineDivorce, uncontested divorce can cost only $139 plus court fees. The platform provides spouses with the cheapest instruments to prepare legal documents without lawyer fees.

Finalizing Your Va Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, a judge may sign the Final Decree of Divorce at the ore tense hearing. At the hearing, you must have a witness attest to the accuracy of the points in the Final Decree. If you do not desire a hearing, you may merely file a deposition corroborating the facts of the case.

In most cases, that will finalize the divorce proceeding, but other parties have the right to appeal the decision. In a contested divorce, both parties must attend a court trial. This can last between one and five days. The judge will usually take several weeks to review the case before handing down a ruling. Your attorney or your spouses attorney will then produce a written order which encapsulates the judges ruling. If both parties agree to the order, then the judge will sign it, finalizing the divorce.

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How Do You Find A Divorce Attorney In Virginia

You can find an attorney in many ways. You could get a referral from a friend or family member. If youve used an attorney for another matter ask them for a referral to a divorce attorney. The state and local bar associations have referral services you can use as well. Regardless, make sure that you and your attorney see eye-to-eye on your divorce and dont be afraid to meet with several before selecting one.

If The Deserter Returns

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Your spouse has left you, spent six months chasing butterflies, and suddenly wakes up one morning and decides that you are the one after all. In good faith, your spouse shows up at your doorstep and begs you to forgive and forget. InVirginia, if you say yes, then all is well. But if you say no and refuse to even see or listen to your spouse, then, strange but true, your spouse could sue you for desertion. The waiting period would start all over again beginning with the time of your refusal. Keep in mind that “good faith” is the key. If, for example, your husband deserted you and then tried to return only after realizing what the high costs of his alimony and legal fees would be, his desire to return would not necessarily be considered “good faith”.

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The Benefits Of A Law Firm Serving Hampton Norfolk Newport News And Chesapeake

Hunter Law Firm has been fighting for the rights of spouses seeking or facing divorce for over 20 years. Our lawyers are committed to guiding you through the divorce process. We have a deep understanding of Virginia laws and are prepared to utilize every resource at our disposal to assist you in moving forward with your life as quickly as possible.

No Separation Agreement Divorce Is Still Possible

An ideal divorce in Virginia is one in which the spouses agree that the marriage is over and are willing to negotiate a separation agreement that spells out how everything will be divided. The next step is an uncontested, no-fault divorce. However, you do not need a separation agreement before filing for divorce. In fact, if your spouse is refusing to cooperate in the process, there is no way you will get them to sign a separation agreement. Your next move will be to file for divorce.

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Settlement Agreement For Uncontested Divorce

In order to get an uncontested divorce, you must also have reached an agreement that covers the issues involved in ending your marriage, including:

If you’re having trouble agreeing with your spouse about any of these matters, divorce mediation can help. In mediation, a neutral, trained professional will meet with both of you and guide you through the process of finding solutions to your disputes. When the process leads to a settlement, many mediators will help you prepare a document that reflects your agreement.

If possible, it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer at least review your draft separation agreement, to make sure that you haven’t missed anything and that the agreement protects all of your rights. This is particularly true when you and your spouse have complex finances.

What Are The Legal Grounds For Divorce In Virginia

How to File For Divorce in West Virginia

Virginia law has both “no-fault” and “fault-based” divorce grounds. If you’re filing for a fault-based divorce, you must claim that your spouse engaged in a certain kind of misconduct, like adultery or cruelty. If you want a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must have been separated for a certain period of time .

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Divorce Online In Virginia

Online divorce is a quick way to complete an application for an uncontested divorce in Virginia. This approach is absolutely legit and allows spouses to choose and fill out all the necessary documents from the comfort of their homes at their own pace. Moreover, its a chance to significantly reduce costs as an uncontested divorce allows spouses to proceed without a lawyer.

Spouses cant get a divorce online in Virginia, but using VirginiaOnlineDivorce, they can make their case less complicated and confusing. The process is pretty straightforward. Spouses fill out an online questionnaire sharing the agreements reached. Then, within 2 business days, documents will be available to download, print, sign, and submit to the court.

Online divorce with VirginiaOnlineDivorce has many benefits, including:

  • No legal background is needed, as the questionnaire is written in plain English
  • No hidden fees, as the system has a transparent pricing policy
  • No time-wasting, as spouses dont have to adjust to a lawyers schedule
  • No searching for filing instructions, as the service provides a step-by-step guide on interacting with the court
  • No stress from traditional document preparation as the platform offers a modern and smart solution.

How to Enjoy These Advantages?

If you and your spouse have no disputes, you can fill out a short qualification form to confirm it and answer the VirginiaOnlineDivorce online divorce questionnaire.

Grounds For Limited Divorce Or Legal Separation

Many people who, for personal or religious reasons, do not wish to obtain a full divorce can get a “limited divorce” instead.Virginia has no legal separation. A “Limited Divorce” in Virginia is similar to what is called a “Legal Separation” on other states. Limited divorces are very much like an absolute divorce with the major difference being that the parties cannot remarry. You are, in effect, still legally married at the same time that you are legally separated.

In order to obtain a limited divorce in Virginia, you must meet residency requirements, grounds, and other legally prescribed laws just as you have to in a case for absolute divorce. Limited divorces can also can involve property settlements, alimony, and child support and custody.

The grounds for obtaining a limited divorce in Virginia are cruelty or excessively vicious conduct to complainant or minor child desertion and voluntary separation beyond any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. The court may require that the parties participate in reconciliation efforts.

The Virginia courts may grant a limited divorce even though you are seeking an absolute divorce. The courts also may decree these divorces forever or for a limited time only. And finally,Virginia’s limited divorces may be revoked by the courts at any time upon the joint applications of the parties to be discharged. In such cases, you return to the state of being legally married.

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How Does Spousal Support Work In Virginia

Before judges will order one spouse to pay spousal support in Virginia after a divorce, they must consider a long list of specific circumstances in the case. Judges have more leeway when deciding on temporary spousal support during the divorce proceedings, based mostly on whether one spouse needs the financial support.

Learn About The Forms And Steps You Need To File For Divorce In Virginiaand How To Get Help With The Process

Free Divorce Paper In Virginia

Along with the emotional stresses that come with ending a marriage, filing for divorce in Virginia can seem daunting. But depending on your situation, it doesn’t have to be an ordeal.

Basically, there are three different ways of getting through the process of filing for divorce:

  • You can choose the do-it-yourself option, which requires finding or creating all of the forms you need, filling them out yourself, and following Virginia’s legal requirements for filing the divorce papers and taking the next steps.
  • You can get help from an online divorce service, which will provide you with the completed forms and basically walk you through the process. Some of these services will also file the divorce papers for you, for an extra fee.
  • You could also take the traditional route of hiring a lawyer to handle the filing and the rest of the legal matters in your divorce.

As we’ll explain below, your choice between these options will depend on the specifics of your case as well as how much time and money you have. If you believe you can take the DIY route, here’s a basic outline of the filing requirements for divorce in Virginia.

  • Next Steps in Your Virginia Divorce
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    What Are The Child Support Obligations

    Each parent is expected to contribute to the support of the minor child. Depending on the time sharing schedule, the difference between the parties incomes, and other factors, there may be a child support payment that is owed between the parents. The court is guided by the needs of the child and the ability of the supporting parent or parents to pay. The use of the state child support guidelines provides an amount of child support that is presumed to be correct, but the court may deviate from these guidelines in appropriate circumstances. The award is subject to change so long as the obligation to support remains. The child support amount may be increased or decreased if a material change occurs in the circumstances of either or both of the parents or of the child. Depending on the time sharing schedule, the court may use a shared custody guideline or a sole custody guideline, where one parent has fewer than ninety days per year. Both guidelines take into account the cost of work-related childcare and health insurance premiums for the child. The court may also require a party to maintain an existing life insurance policy to provide financial security for a child in the event that the parent obligated to pay child support dies.

    The court can also apportion tax exemptions for the children between the parties.

    Same State Different Addresses

    You do not have to remain at the same address to fulfill your residency requirement. You can move anywhere within the state from which you are filing. The forms do not require you to list all addressees, but you should be prepared to prove where you lived during the separation in the final hearing.

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    How To Start A Virginia Divorce

    The divorce process in Virginia begins with you or your spouse filing a Bill of Complaint for Divorce in a county circuit court. This form notifies the court and the spouse that a divorce is desired.

    • Completely fill out the Bill of Complaint for Divorce and make at least two copies to submit to the county circuit court where you or your spouse resides.

    • You must also fill out a v -4 State Statistical Form and submit it along with the complaint.

    • A filing fee must also be provided at the time of complaint submission. This fee may range from $150 to $290 and must be in the form of cash, money order or a cashiers check.

    • Once the Bill of Complaint and supporting documents are filed, a clerk of the circuit court will review the filing and, possibly alert you to any missing documents. If your filing is approved you will receive a civil number designating your case.

    Contested Vs Uncontested Divorce In Virginia

    How to File For Divorce in Virginia

    While it may sound obvious, no-fault divorces often go quicker than fault-based divorces since the couple has fewer things to argue over.

    This is because each side can quickly settle on a fair separation agreement which lists the terms of their divorce.

    However, complications still frequently arise, even in no-fault divorces.

    If either party disagrees with something in the separation agreement, the divorce becomes contested.

    This is often where having a good divorce lawyer becomes a necessity, and why contested divorces often become drawn-out and costly affairs.

    Conversely, an uncontested divorce occurs when the parties agree on all relevant issues pertaining to the divorce.

    This can include matters ranging from alimony and property division to child custody and support.

    How These Processes Differ

    Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested will have a huge impact on the process you go through to get a divorce.

    You can read a brief outline of each type here:

    Uncontested Fault-Based Divorce Uncontested No-Fault Divorce

    Each of type of divorce comes with different requirements, risks, and benefits that youll want to talk over with your lawyer.

    A contested fault-based divorce, for instance, would take the most time to settle.

    Meanwhile, an uncontested no-fault divorce could end in a separation agreement rather quickly.

    Likewise, an uncontested fault-based divorce also has different rules than a contested, no-fault divorce .

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    How Are Property And Debt Divided At Divorce

    Virginia statutes now provide for the “equitable” distribution of the marital property and marital debt between the parties at the conclusion of the divorce. “Marital property” consists of all jointly-titled property as well as all other property, other than separate property, acquired by either or both of the parties from the date of the marriage through the time of the final separation. “Separate property” is property owned by one party prior to the marriage, property acquired after the parties have separated, or inherited property and/or gifts to one party from a third person. Where “marital property” and “separate property” are mixed together or where the value of “separate property” is increased through the active efforts of either party during the marriage, then such property may be classified as “marital property” or as “part marital and part separate” property. In general, debt is considered marital debt if it is in the joint names of the parties and was incurred before the date of the last separation of the parties or, for debt that is in only one partys name, if the debt was incurred after the date of marriage and before the date of the last separation of the parties. On the other hand, separate debt is debt incurred in only one partys name before the marriage or after the date of the final separation of the parties. In determining whether a debt is marital or separate, the court may also consider the reason a debt was incurred.

    How To Fill Out Virginia Divorce Papers

    Filling out divorce papers is a confusing process complicated by Virginia state requirements and laws. If the spouses decide to do it independently, they should follow these rules:

  • Carefully study the list of divorce forms and legal terminology. Misunderstanding and misusing legal terms may cause mistakes.
  • Prepare all the necessary information about the parties to the divorce, children, property, etc. It can be full legal names, birthdates, Social Security Numbers, wedding date and place, employment information, professional or occupational license information, name and address of insurance company, etc.
  • If the forms contain requirements for filling them out, follow them strictly. These requirements may include ink color, writing format , etc.
  • Reread the completed documents for errors, typos, and incorrect information. Remember that any mistake in the paperwork can result in court rejection.
  • Sign the documents and ask the second party to do the same if required.
  • Another way to prepare divorce documents is to use VirginiaOnlineDivorce. If the case is uncontested, the spouses can avoid the above process and select and complete divorce papers online without any hassle.

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    What Is The Difference Between A Divorce And Separation In Virginia

    There are two types of divorce in Virginia: divorce from bed and board and divorce from bond of matrimony. The latter is a complete termination of the marriage. Divorce from bed and board is only a partial divorce in that parties are legally separated but not permitted to remarry. It can be granted on grounds of willful desertion or cruelty. Divorce from bed and board can eventually lead to divorce from bond of matrimony if the spouses cease cohabitation for more than one year.

    Divorce from bond of matrimony can be granted on grounds of a felony conviction of either spouse and imprisonment for over one year, adultery, “sodomy,” or “buggery.” The petitioning spouse must set forth very fact-specific evidence, as mere suspicion is insufficient proof of the behavior. If you suspect your spouse is involved in such activity, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you establish the facts of your case.

    Separation also forms a basis for no-fault divorce from bond of matrimony. At least one of the spouses must have intended to separate, and the spouses must have lived apart without cohabitation for more than one year. If there is a Property Settlement or Separation Agreement in place, and no minor children are involved, the timeframe may be reduced to six months.

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