How to get a divorce in virginia

Divorces are heard in the Circuit Court. Custody, visitation, child support, parentage and spousal support may be resolved in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. After a divorce, requests to revise support, custody and visitation generally go to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

What are the different kinds of divorce?

There are three kinds of divorces: Uncontested, No-Fault, and Contested.

  • For more information about Uncontested and No-Fault Divorce, please visit VALegalAid.org. This website offers an online forms program for Uncontested or No-Fault Divorce. to learn more about Contested Divorce.

What resources can help me understand the divorce process?

There are no official court forms dealing with the process of spousal separation or divorce. Information about the divorce process, as well as practical concerns about financial matters and custody, is available from the Virginia State Bar and VALegalAid.org. These organizations and the find a lawyer resources, along with your local court, local law library or local Bar Association may also be able to refer you to someone who can help. VA Law Help 2 Go offers a video that explains your options in pursuing an uncontested divorce from your partner.

The Spare the Child video, a project of the Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section, guides parents through the difficult task of restructuring their family. The documentary-style, conversational video uses everyday language. It gives examples from people experienced with divorce, such as judges, lawyers, guardians ad litem, counselors, teachers, and children of divorce.

Divorce is often among the most difficult and emotional events in a person’s life, but that doesn’t mean it has to result in a long, costly court case. Typically, a traditional divorce involves each person filing legal paperwork that is then adjudicated in court over many painful sessions – resulting in many large legal bills. When it’s over, the judge decides all contested issues, whether the couple likes what is decided or not.

Many couples will choose to forgo that and opt for an uncontested divorce, in which they agree not to dispute such issues as child custody, division of property, or support payments. If you and your spouse already agree on these issues and would like to proceed with a divorce that is quick and affordable, an uncontested divorce may be for you.

The Law Office of Michael Ephraim has specialized in uncontested divorces for since we opened our practice in 1993 Our team excels at making a difficult process as simple and painless as possible so you can move to the next phase of your life.

Uncontested Divorce Requirements in Virginia

The divorce laws in Virginia provide for married couples to divorce in as a little as 2 weeks if all requirements are met. Our firm provides a 2 week uncontested divorce for $695 plus the court fees of $89. We also offer an uncontested divorce in Virginia which takes 5 weeks and costs just $495 plus $89 court fees.

Both options include a separation agreement on standard terms for no extra cost when the following conditions are met:

  • Each spouse is willing to sign the divorce papers
  • The couple has been separated and not cohabitating for at least six months (if you have no minor children) or one year (if you and your spouse have minor children).
  • One of you has been resident in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the last 6 months.

You don’t need to spend any time in lawyers’ offices: you can fill all the paperwork online and we even will process your payment.

Many couples expect divorce to be a long, tough battle through courts and legal offices. Virginia law says otherwise, however, allowing for a divorce that meets the above conditions to be completed in as little as two weeks. It is important to find a law office with the knowledge and experience to protect you, your family, and your assets — even if you have an agreeable relationship with your spouse or partner — and to ensure that you meet the legal requirements.

How to get a divorce in virginia

Frequently Asked Questions About Uncontested Divorce in Virginia

We get many questions about uncontested divorce in Virginia, and to guide you in the right direction, we’ve put together some of the questions we hear most frequently. Take a look at these FAQs about uncontested divorce in Virginia:

What Is an Uncontested Divorce in Virginia?

An uncontested divorce is when both sides agree to the divorce without blaming each other. They agree on asset divisions, custody arrangements, support payments, and any other significant details. They don’t want a long, drawn-out fight. They are both committed to concluding their marriage quickly without dispute.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Virginia?

An uncontested divorce in Virginia can completed very fast. Ephraim Law offers a 2 week divorce process and a 5 week divorce process. Cases in which a spouse cannot be located, divorce by publication can be finalized in 3 months.

Do You Have to Go to Court for an Uncontested Divorce?

No, a court appearance is not required for an uncontested divorce. The Law Office of Michael Ephraim will prepare the required documents for you and your spouse to sign, and handle all document filings with the court. Once the judge signs the divorce decree the office will send the divorce decree to you.

Who Can Get an Uncontested Divorce in Virginia?

You must both agree to the divorce to qualify for an uncontested divorce. One of you must live in Virginia, but you don’t both need to be residents of the state. You must also have been separated for a certain amount of time. Couples without children must be separated for at least six months, while those with children under 18 need to have been separated for a year.

How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?

Most of the cost of a divorce boils down to paying lawyers to help you negotiate a settlement. Divorces are a lot less expensive when they are uncontested. The Law Office of Michael Ephraim strives to keep prices as low as possible for our clients. Our skilled legal team offers two-week divorces for $695 plus filing fees, five-week divorces for $495 plus filing fees, and divorces by publication in certain circumstances for $495 plus filing fees/costs.

Get an Uncontested Divorce in Virginia

For married couples who are both in alignment and looking to get simple, convenient, and fast results, an uncontested divorce provides a very cost-effective option. Moreover, obtaining an uncontested divorce free of angry disputes eases the emotional burden on both parties.

The Law Office of Michael Ephraim provides skilled, caring, and innovative solutions to your personal family law issues. In our 25+ years of practicing divorce law, we have helped thousands of couples get quick, affordable divorces. Our team is sensitive to the fact that divorce can be an overwhelming, critical time in your life, and we have your best interests at the forefront.

How to get a divorce in virginia

Divorce is never something anyone aspires to. Unfortunately, it happens all too often despite the best intentions. For residents of Virginia, the commonwealth has made it easy to obtain an uncontested divorce online. This process allows couples who have amicably agreed upon the division of property, child custody and other decisions to avoid unnecessary litigation and save on divorce costs.

In today’s increasingly digital society, the ability to get an uncontested online divorce makes sense. The process is not a difficult one, just one that requires following the prescribed steps.

Qualifications for an Uncontested Divorce Online in Virginia

First, the spouse that is filing for divorce must be a Virginia resident. That means that you should be able to prove residence in the state and county where you will submit papers for at least six months before the date of filing. Proof may entail corroboration by third-party witnesses. Although the spouse being served does not have to live in the same district, if they live out of state, you will have to follow the instructions for serving divorce papers in the state in which they reside.

Second, you must be separated from your spouse for six months before the date of filing if you have no minor children. If there are minor children involved, you must be separated for at least one year before the date of filing. If there was even one night where both spouses were in the same house, the separation period must start over from that point. The court may also require corroboration that the separation was complete by requiring witness testimony.

The Virginia Online Divorce Process

The good news is that if you are still reading, that means that you qualify for an uncontested divorce online in Virginia. There are five basic steps in completing the online divorce process:

Preparing the Bill of Complaint

In Virginia, an uncontested divorce attorney will file your Bill of Complaint with the circuit court. The process involves submitting the form and paying a fee. Once it is accepted into the official record, you will receive your case number from the court and file-stamped copies of your documents.

How to get a divorce in virginia

Serving Your Spouse

Even though you have both agreed to the divorce, there must be proof of both the filing and receipt of the divorce papers. Remember, if your spouse lives in another state, you must follow the laws of that state for serving documents to them. Typically, a sheriff’s deputy or similar official will serve the divorce papers in Virginia, and you must pay a service fee for their time. As long as someone in the spouse’s household over the age of 16 receives the papers at least seven days before the hearing, the service has been completed.

Obtaining a Waiver of Notice

The Waiver of Notice is the confirmation of the served spouse or defendant saying that they have no objection to proceeding with the divorce. It is a valuable step, as it speeds up the process considerably. It will be submitted to the court along with the other papers immediately prior to the final decree.

Documenting the Property Settlement

If you are planning to file an uncontested divorce online, it is advisable to complete this step early if you plan for a quick and smooth process. The reason for this advice is that it can take a while to work through the details, and it is the last step before scheduling the divorce hearing. In Virginia, the property settlement agreement is also called a separation agreement.

How to get a divorce in virginia

The Virginia State Bar lists the purpose of the property settlement agreement as a contract between the parties detailing the “rights, duties, and obligations that arise out of their separation and divorce.” It should include not only the division of property and debt but child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support and attorney’s fees, or in this case, court and filing fees.

Scheduling the Final Divorce Hearing

As soon as both spouses have signed the property settlement agreement, you can schedule the final divorce hearing. Technically, a hearing isn’t required, as many judges now allow depositions and affidavits, but some judges require an “ore tenus” hearing before signing the divorce decree. In the hearing, the plaintiff must appear with a witness before a judge instead of a commissioners’ hearing. Check with your county clerks’ office to find out what is required in your home jurisdiction.

The witness you choose to appear in court with you should be someone you know well. Examples of the questions they’ll be expected to answer includes:

  • How you know each other
  • That you’ve known each other since the beginning of the separation
  • Your address where you have lived during the separation
  • The assurance that you were living in Virginia for at least six months
  • To whom you were married and are now divorcing
  • Verification that both parties are over the age of 18 and their military status, if applicable
  • Whether the parties have children
  • The separation date
  • Confirmation that the parties have lived apart without interruption for the separation period, to the best of the witness’s knowledge
  • Corroboration that at least one spouse intended the separation to be permanent and terminate in divorce

Once the court is satisfied that everything is in order, the decree of divorce will be signed, and your marriage will be legally terminated.

Get Legal Advice From an Experienced, Licensed Attorney

Even though the Commonwealth of Virginia makes it relatively easy to complete your uncontested divorce online, many of the forms caution the parties to consult with a divorce attorney before signing the documents. Once you’ve agreed in writing, you have signed away your rights.

While everything may be in complete agreement with the wishes of both parties, having an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer review the forms before signing can make the online divorce process go much faster and smoother while preventing costly mistakes down the line. Michael Ephraim has specialized in uncontested divorce for over 25 years. Contact his office today for more information.

How to get a divorce in virginia

While it is much easier, faster, and cheaper to get divorced in Virginia if you and your spouse agree on the terms and cooperate with each other, you can still have a divorce finalized by the court without your spouse’s cooperation. If this is the situation you find yourself in, family and divorce attorney James Short can help you throughout the process. Learn more about how to file for divorce here.

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.

Two Types of Divorce in Virginia

If you have grounds for a fault-based divorce, you can file with no mandatory waiting period. Some of the reasons for a fault-based divorce include adultery, cruelty, apprehension of bodily harm, desertion, abandonment, and felony conviction. If you don’t have grounds, you will have to be separated from your spouse for a full year before you can file for divorce.

Whether it is a fault or no-fault divorce, you do not need your spouse’s signature or verbal agreement to file. Once you file the complaint and the divorce is opened with the court, your spouse will be served with the complaint and will have 21 days to respond. If they don’t respond, the court will proceed with the divorce without requiring any further input from your spouse.

If your spouse does respond, things can get heated and drag out, but you will have the court behind you to keep the process moving.

Don’t Attempt This Without an Attorney

Divorce is never easy, but it is an uphill battle if you are fighting with an uncooperative spouse. You will need legal advice every step of the way. With a lawyer on your side, you might even be able to convince your spouse that it is in their best interest to come to the table and participate in the negotiation. Otherwise, it will become a costly battle, and you will both be at the mercy of the courts to make major decisions for you.

The sooner you consult a Virginia family law attorney in your divorce journey, the more likely it is that you will be in a good position to get what you want out of the divorce. Whether you are still at the contemplation stage or are knee-deep in a break-up, call our Chesapeake office for help. We will help you avoid common mistakes and take the next steps towards freedom from an unhappy marriage.

Divorce suits are filed in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Civil Office, room 314.

General Information

To obtain a divorce in Virginia, you or your spouse must be a resident of Virginia for a minimum of six months prior to filing for a divorce, Virginia Code § 20-97.
If there are no children from the marriage, you must be separated for a minimum of six months and have a written property settlement agreement when you file for a divorce, Virginia Code § 20-91.
If there are children from the marriage, you must be separated a minimum of one year before you file for a divorce, Virginia Code § 20-91.
In Virginia, Separation Agreements are filed only AFTER a divorce case has been filed with the Court.
The information provided herein is not intended to be legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such.
You are strongly encouraged to hire an attorney.
If you choose to represent yourself (pro se), you will be expected to follow the same procedures as an attorney.
Please remember the Clerk’s Office staff and the judicial law clerks are unable to give legal advice. They cannot assist you by answering legal questions or questions regarding any forms, etc. They are prohibited by state law from giving you legal advice or assistance. Please do not ask them.
For more information, or for answers to specific questions, please contact an attorney.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a VS-4 form?
You can obtain the State Vital Statistics VS-4 form, revised July 2004, at the Clerk’s Office, Room 314 or send a request to Clerk of Circuit Court, Room 314, 9311 Lee Avenue, Manassas VA 20110, with a stamped self-addressed envelope. All information must be completed on the original form and must be typed or printed in black ink only. It must be filed with the proposed Final Order of Divorce.

When will my ore tenus hearing be scheduled?
Upon receipt of Notice of Ore Tenus Hearing (see “Information for Filing Divorce”) and submission of all required documents, a law clerk will review your file. The law clerk will advise you of any problems with your documents. Any documents you are required to re-submit must be brought or mailed to the Clerk’s Office, Room 314. Do not address any papers to the law clerks directly. The Clerk’s Office will ensure all papers are directed to the correct law clerk.

A HEARING DATE WILL NOT BE SCHEDULED UNTIL APPROVAL BY A LAW CLERK. The Court will then place your case on the docket. After all problems are resolved, you will be called by a calendar clerk to schedule a hearing date. Ore Tenus hearings are held every first and third Thursday of the month at 9:00 AM.

What is the timeframe for obtaining a divorce?
It varies from case to case. It depends on whether the attorney/pro se has filed the paperwork properly, the workload of the law clerks, and the promptness of response to law clerk’s questions. The ore tenus hearing will be scheduled approximately 2 – 3 months after the initial filing of the case if all of the documents are accurate and complete.

What do you do to have custody, visitation or support issues modified or addressed after a divorce is final?
The first step would be to determine if this case was remanded to Juvenile and Domestic Relations (J&DR) Court after the divorce. Refer to the final divorce decree. If it was, you may contact J&DR at 703-792-6160 for information on how to proceed. If the matter remained in Circuit Court, you would first need to reopen the case with a $31.00 fee. Instruction on how to place a motion on our docket is available on our Motions Day Procedures website. We strongly suggest you contact an attorney to receive legal advice.

Where can I find a parenting class?
Available parenting classes include:
Northern VA Community College – “Parents, Children and Divorce” – 703-257-6630
Northern VA Family Service – “Children Cope with Parental Separation” – 703-219-2198

How can I file a final Out-of-State Divorce Decree?

This is referred to as “domesticating a foreign divorce.” It is processed by the Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, 703-792-6160.

How Can I Obtain copies of Orders and Pleadings?

A copy of the final decree of divorce will be sent to each of the attorneys for the parties after the judge signs it. Additional copies of decrees or copies of pleadings may be requested in person or in writing.

The fee for copies is 50¢ per page. There is an additional $2.00 fee for certifying a copy of a document. Requests for copies sent by mail must be accompanied by check or money order covering the cost of the copies. Checks should be made payable to “Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk.” The mailing address is Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Room 314, 9311 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110.

Sample Forms

Links

    , Virginia’s Judicial System , Virginia State Bar publication , Virginia State Bar publication , Virginia’s Judicial System , Virginia State Bar Publication

Please notify the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office by email if you find that any of the links on this page do not work.

If you have decided to get divorced, you want to get the process over as quickly and smoothly as possible. However, how long the process will take will depend on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. Here, we explain the timeframes for completing both types of divorces in Virginia so that you know what to expect.

How Long it Takes to Obtain an Uncontested Divorce

How to get a divorce in virginia

A no-fault divorce is one where you and your spouse agree to all the issues in your divorce, such as your property settlement, custody, child support, and alimony. It can be completed much quicker than a contested divorce. However, you must be separated for six months if you do not have minor children or at least one year if you have children with your spouse.

Once you have been separated for six months or one year, the steps in an uncontested divorce can be completed relatively quickly. Depending on how fast you can agree on and sign a property settlement agreement and the judge's availability, your divorce can be finalized in approximately one to two months. You may even be able to complete it by filing an affidavit or deposition and avoid the need to attend a court hearing.

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Contested Divorce?

If you and your spouse do not agree on getting divorced or about the issues in your divorce, you would need to file a contested divorce. Depending on why you are seeking a divorce, you may be required to be separated for one year. Even if there is no separation requirement, the process can be lengthy.

First, you would need to establish valid grounds for your divorce. In Virginia, you would have to prove one of the following:

  • Adultery
  • Felony conviction
  • Physical cruelty
  • Desertion
  • Constructive desertion

In addition, it could take you a long time to go through the process of litigating your divorce. After you file your complaint and your spouse answers it, you could go through a lengthy discovery phase where the lawyers for both you and your partner obtain financial and other information from each other. Discovery can include interrogatories, which are written questions to be answered, requests to produce documents, and depositions.

Once this stage of your divorce is completed, your case would be scheduled for a trial if you do not reach an agreement. The whole process could take a year or more to complete.

If you are planning to file for divorce in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, our experienced family law attorneys are here to protect your rights and help you through the process as quickly as possible. To find out more about how we can assist you, fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free consultation today.

Why Use an Attorney
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There are 2 types of divorce in Virginia: A Divorce from Bed and Board (a mensa et thoro) and an Absolute Divorce (a vinculo matrimonii).

Divorce “from Bed and Board” – a “partial” divorce that allows a husband and wife to be legally separated from each other but does not allow the parties to remarry; may be merged into an absolute divorce after one year; can only be filed on the grounds of cruelty or desertion.

Absolute Divorce or a “divorce from the bonds of matrimony,” is a complete divorce that allows the parties to remarry after the divorce is finalized. This is the type of divorce that most people have heard about.

Separation – Virginia does not recognize any other type of “legal separation.” Separation consists of living separate and apart from your spouse, and you do not need to file any special paperwork for this. Remember though, that even while living apart, you are still married until a final decree of divorce is entered by the court.

Separation Agreement or “Property Settlement Agreement,” (PSA) this is a written, signed agreement between the husband and wife that sets out how matters related to the marriage will be resolved. It may be as simple as stating that the parties wish to separate and have already divided their property, or it could address more complex matters of property division, child support and custody, spousal support, who will live in the marital home, and so on. A PSA can be filed with the divorce-this gives the Court the power to enforce the PSA if necessary in the future. It also allows the parties to proceed with an uncontested divorce.

“Uncontested” – an uncontested divorce can be filed when both parties agree to the divorce and have resolved all issues related to the marriage before filing for divorce (rather than asking the Court to resolve those issues). If the parties have no minor children and a signed PSA, they may file for divorce after a 6 month separation; if they have minor children, they may file after a one year separation. These are the “no-fault” grounds.

“Contested” – a contested divorce exists when the parties do not agree on issues related to the marriage and divorce, such as property division, child custody and support, and spousal support. If they cannot come to an agreement, the parties may ask the Court to resolve these issues as part of the divorce. A contested divorce may be filed on fault or no-fault grounds.

To file for a divorce in Virginia, you or your spouse must have lived in Virginia (been a “resident and domiciliary”) for at least six months prior to filing. You both must be at least 18 years old.

You must be able to prove to the Court that you have the required grounds for the type of divorce that you are seeking. You must also have a witness (usually a close friend or family member, who is over 18) who has knowledge of the basic facts of your marriage and separation and can also testify that you meet the requirements.

In Virginia, a party must have a valid legal basis, or “grounds” before he or she may file for divorce. Grounds for divorce may be based upon the fault of either party, or may be based upon living separate and apart for the time period prescribed by law, also known as “no-fault” grounds. An Absolute Divorce may be filed on the following grounds:

  1. Separation of over One Year-this is a very common ground for divorce. It requires that the parties have lived separate and apart, without any cohabitation or interruption, for a period of at least one year, with the intent that the separation be permanent
  2. Separation of over 6 Months-this ground is available only if the parties do not have minor children, they have lived separate and apart for a period of at least 6 months, and they have entered into a written separation agreement.
  1. Adultery – when a spouse has engaged in sexual relations with someone outside of the marriage. It must have occurred within the last 5 years, and there must be clear, conclusive evidence that it occurred. You must not have condoned or encouraged the adultery, or continued to live with your spouse after you found out about it. If your spouse can prove that you are also guilty of one of the fault grounds, then they have a defense of “recrimination,” and a divorce based on adultery may not be granted.
  2. Conviction of a Felony – if your spouse has been convicted of a felony that resulted in confinement in a state or federal penitentiary for more than one year, you may file for divorce on this ground as long as you did not continue to live with your spouse after you found out about the confinement.

  1. An initial consultation to discuss the case and review any existing separation agreements, PSA’s, court orders, marriage certificates, or other relevant documents.
  2. The preparation and filing of a Complaint for Divorce and accompanying forms; the preparation of a proposed Final Decree of Divorce
    (a) If your spouse is willing to cooperate, we send the Complaint and proposed Final Decree for him or her to review, with a waiver form to sign in front of a notary to waive future service or notice.
    (b) If a spouse will not sign a waiver, then a copy of the Complaint can be served by the sheriff or a private process server, and it may be necessary to notify him or her of when a hearing, depositions, or entry of a final divorce decree will take place.
  3. Once service requirements are met, we prepare the proposed Final Decree of Divorce and any other documents (name change order, PSA, forms) for filing; we also prepare deposition questions to be asked of you and your witness.
  4. We offer the option for you and your witness to schedule a time for depositions in our office rather than having to attend a court hearing-hours are flexible and we can work with your schedule. We then take your depositions, where we ask you each questions under oath, and finalize the transcripts to be filed along with the proposed Final Decree
  5. The Final Decree, deposition transcripts, and other documents, if applicable, are filed with the Court. The judge will review everything and if there are no issues, will sign the Final Decree-once the judge signs it, the divorce is final.

Please contact us to schedule your initial consultation:

How to get a divorce in virginia

Virginia divorce cases are handled by the state’s circuit court system, as are all other Virginia family law matters. The state of Virginia has one very unusual divorce law: divorcing couples may choose either a limited divorce or an absolute divorce. When the circuit court issues a limited divorce decree, it operates a bit more like a separation agreement, as it is not permanent, does not permit remarriage, and does not terminate property claims (although it might include a property settlement agreement). When the circuit court grants an absolute divorce, it constitutes a final decree, as the divorce is permanent, permits remarriage, and terminates property claims.

Virginia divorce laws allow couples to either file for a fault divorce or a no fault divorce. In a fault divorce, one spouse will allege some wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse in the divorce complaint, whereas in a no fault divorce, one or both spouses will simply indicate that they would like to dissolve the marriage through no fault of either party.

If one spouse would like to allege fault on the part of the other, they can select from four possible fault options listed by Virginia law. Those options are: adultery, sodomy, or buggery, committed by either spouse; conviction of a felony; willful desertion for a period of at least one year; and cruelty which causes the other spouse to fear bodily harm. If one spouse does allege fault, they will be required to prove it in court, which makes for a much more complicated divorce case and much more time-consuming divorce proceedings.

Divorcing couples may also choose between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce in Virginia. In a contested divorce, each spouse must hire a Virginia divorce lawyer in order to resolve divorce issues like child support, child custody, alimony, and the division of marital property. Sometimes this means leaving these decisions up to the court, but more often the parties are able to reach a marital settlement agreement before trial.

In an uncontested divorce case, the parties already agree on these issues at the time of filing for divorce (perhaps they even already have a formal separation agreement), so they are able to simply submit their agreement to the court for approval prior to issuing a final divorce decree. Uncontested divorce in Virginia does not usually necessitate the hiring of an uncontested divorce lawyer.

However, some people may prefer to find an uncontested divorce attorney if they would like some minor legal advice or help navigating the uncontested divorce process and the many divorce forms. Online divorce is also an option in this case.

In a contested or uncontested divorce in Virginia, the spouse filing the initial divorce papers is called the plaintiff, and the spouse filing the response is known as the defendant. In cases of no fault divorce, there is not usually any benefit to being the plaintiff or the defendant; they are simply responsible for slightly different paperwork — namely, the complaint and the response.

A divorce proceeding begins when the plaintiff files a complaint with the county clerk’s office. The defendant is then responsible for filing a response with the clerk within 21 days, or they risk having a default judgement issued against them.

Getting an uncontested divorce can be fast and affordable. And you can use a lawyer.

Here’s how it works:

Fast

Uncontested divorce is quick because it is by agreement. Fighting in court can take a long time. For example, even the most simple motion can take months to be heard. In contrast, in an uncontested divorce, instead of fighting about small issues, parties agree on all issues. With the process we use, our clients do not even have to come to court.

Affordable – with a flat fee

Uncontested divorce is affordable because you do not have to pay a lawyer for seemingly endless trips to court. For example, in a divorce where there is disagreement, a lawyer might have to got to court four or more times just for one motion filed with the court. And going to court doesn’t take just one hour – it can take half a day or longer.

With the process we use, we can offer a flat fee for an uncontested divorce in Virginia. This means that your costs in a divorce can be predictable – unlike hiring a lawyer to fight in court.

Starting an uncontested divorce

Starting an uncontested divorce in Virginia can be very easy.

Below is the most simple explanation of the process:

  1. Retain Virginia Family Law Center, PC for a flat fee
  2. Give us information (date of marriage; date of separation, birth dates, social security numbers, etc.)
  3. Review documents that we provide to you.
  4. Execute the documents with your spouse and a witness
  5. Send all the paperwork back to us, and we take care of the rest.

We get many calls from people who have heard that a divorce takes years, or six months, or something else. They talk to uncles, friends, cousins – they hear all sorts of things. The best thing to do is call Virginia Family Law Center, PC to make it as simple as possible.

Many of the divorces we handle take less than one month from our first contact with a client, to the day it is finalized by a court. Sure, some take longer. And some are quicker. The point is that an uncontested divorce can be quicker than you think and can help you move on with life.

Get Started Now!

To discuss your questions and understand your options, call (703) 537-0444 or click here to request your free VA fast divorce consultation with our attorneys.
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Fast Affordable Virginia Divorce Lawyers
4041 University Drive, Suite 103
Fairfax, VA 22030

If you are the one who has found someone else, honesty is the worst policy. Do not tell all. Decide if the marriage is over for you, and get a lawyer. Do not make overly generous offers of settlement out of guilt. If your spouse has found someone else and you think the marriage is over, consult an attorney before you confront your spouse so that you do not inadvertently condone your spouse’s behavior or prejudice your ability to secure the evidence of adultery you may need to present in court if you decide to file for divorce based on adultery.

If I am separated from my spouse and I date other people, can I be charged with adultery?

Yes. Either party can allege adultery at any time up until the divorce. Even if you have a valid separation agreement, it is still technically adultery if you engage in sexual relations with someone who is not your spouse while you are still married. In addition, adultery in Virginia is still a crime.

What is desertion?

Desertion is intentionally leaving the marriage with the desire that separation be permanent, against the wishes of the other spouse; desertion is not merely taking a trip. Separation by mutual agreement is not desertion. To prove desertion, one must prove an intent to end the marriage on the part of one spouse, prove that the spouse who was left did nothing to justify the other’s leaving and prove that the leaving was against the wishes of the person who was left. To prove desertion by one spouse, the other spouse must be blameless. To keep your options open, if your spouse tells you he or she is contemplating leaving, don’t agree! If you are contemplating leaving the marital residence, consult an attorney first, if at all possible. Even if you are justified in leaving, removing yourself from the marital residence can have potentially negative impacts on a custody determination or prevent you from having access to important financial records and other documents kept in the home, to name just a couple of considerations you would want to first discuss with an attorney.

Can my or my spouse’s desertion be excused?

You or your spouse can be justified in leaving the marriage if you are told to get out, if you are abused by your spouse, if the actions or conduct of your spouse is causing you to suffer health problems and your spouse refuses to change, or if the conditions you are living under in the marriage are what a court might otherwise find to be intolerable.

What is constructive desertion?

You can charge your spouse with constructive desertion when your spouse has not, and perhaps will not, physically leave the marital residence, but through his or her actions has essentially already left or deserted the marriage. For example, when a spouse has been abusive or cruel, and his or her behavior is so severe that the blameless spouse leaves the home to escape, the cruel spouse is said to be guilty of constructive desertion even though that spouse remains in the home. When your spouse is guilty of constructive desertion, it can be a justification for your leaving the home. However, unless you are in imminent danger, you should always consult an attorney before removing yourself from the marital home.

What constitutes cruelty?

Cruelty usually involves violence, or fear of violence; one must also prove reasonable apprehension of bodily harm, which can include harm to one’s mental state as well as one’s physical well-being. Acts of cruelty are usually cumulative, augmented by each additional act, although at first they are condoned to a certain point. Proof of a single incident which is so vile as to shock a court may also be sufficient for cruelty.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

For divorces based upon either desertion or cruelty, a one-year period of physical separation is required to finalize the divorce. There is no waiting period required for adultery, and upon proof of adultery, the court can grant an immediate divorce. No-fault divorces also require a separation period of one year (six months if there are no minor children and there is a written separation agreement). Practically speaking, however, contested divorce actions often take more than a year.

What kind of proof is required to get a divorce?

All grounds for divorce, including a no-fault divorce, must be corroborated by an independent witness who knows of the situation by means other than your telling the witness what happened. The standard of proof for adultery is clear and convincing; usually a private investigator will be required to prove that your spouse had inclination and opportunity to commit adultery. Inclination can be a single hug or a kiss in public, and opportunity is usually spending the night with someone in a room or residence without other people around. Even if your spouse admits adultery, you still need an independent witness in addition to you and your spouse. The standard of proof for desertion and cruelty as well as for a no-fault divorce is a preponderance of the evidence standard; you must have an independent witness in addition to your own testimony to verify the facts.