Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Virginia No Fault Divorce


Virginia no-fault divorce laws state that a spouse can file for divorce on no-fault grounds where a spouse need not establish in the court of law that the other spouse had committed a substantial “wrongdoing”. In the state of Virginia, there are two grounds for divorce. One is if the spouses do not have children below 18 years and have signed a separation agreement after six months of continuous separation, then the divorce would be granted. If the couple have not signed the “separation agreement, then the separation period is for one year which must be without cohabitation.

The other grounds on the basis of which divorce can be obtained are: adultery, cruelty, willful desertion, conviction of felony etc.

Property division in Virginia no fault divorce

According to Virginia no fault divorce laws, the property division matter is settled by “equitably and fairly “dividing the property among the spouses after the divorce. Here, the “marital property” is divided, which is the property that the spouses had acquired during the course of the marriage. According to the financial needs of the spouses, age and health of each of them, employability of each spouse, inflation in the market, value of the property in the market etc are considered while justifiably dividing the property.

In most of the cases, spouses try to settle the matter of property division among each other “outside the court”, so that the entire process of divorce is not long and is also economical. It is only when the spouses are unable to reach at any decision regarding property division that the courts intervene.

In cases where the spouses are able to settle the matter of property division among themselves then the courts would give approval after they have signed and sworn in for abiding by the rules laid down in the “property separation agreement”.

Alimony in Virginia no fault divorce

Society is increasingly changing and with times, alimony related laws are also undergoing change. Alimony is now no longer awarded to “punish” the “wrong doing spouse”, but to meet the financial needs of a financially weaker one. The court may ask the financially stronger spouse to provide the alimony in a lump sum or to pay in installments. Alimony may be extended for a fixed amount of time, may be temporary or for a lifetime depending on the employability of that spouse, health condition etc.

Child custody in VA no-fault divorce

The matter of child custody is generally settled “outside the court” where both the spouses formulate a parenting plan and visitation schedule, with the help of child custody mediator. This is to ensure that the disputes of the parents are kept aside while deciding on the matter of custody and child support. When the disputes between the parents are not settled then courts would intervene. While awarding child custody, courts look into the “best interests of the child” and follow Virginia child custody guidelines. Safety and welfare of the child are important to be followed.

Many spouses file for no fault grounds for divorce despite of “substantial wrongdoing” on part of the other spouse. This is to reduce the money involved in running a case trial in court to prove the fault of the spouse. Also, no fault grounds cases are settled faster and are less mentally agonizing.

You may file the fault grounds for divorce if you do not wish to wait as long as one year as the waiting period in one year in Virginia or if you are likely to have an edge over the other spouse on matters of child custody or property division owing to the “fault” grounds committed by the spouse. You attorney would be the best person to give an advice on the grounds of divorce to choose for.


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