You’ve done everything you can to reconcile your relationship with your spouse — but neither of you are happy. You’ve agreed to divorce.
That’s a good first step in the process. The more you and your spouse are willing to work toward uncoupling your lives as peacefully as possible, the better. The ultimate goal, of course, is to get an uncontested divorce.
What’s the difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce?
In essence, an uncontested divorce is one that has no major issues that have to be decided by the court. A contested divorce results in litigation, which can be protracted and expensive. Uncontested divorces are cheaper, easier and faster — and the majority of couples are able to end their marriages this way.
When can you file for divorce in Virginia?
To file for a divorce, at least one party must be a resident of the state for at least six months — but you may have to wait a bit longer for your divorce if you’re looking for a “no-fault” option. Like other states, Virginia does allow divorce based on irreconcilable differences and the breakdown of the marital relationship. However, those divorces are granted only after a full year of separation or after six months with a formal separation agreement in place.
If you have “grounds” for a divorce, you might obtain your divorce a little faster, but that requires one party to admit to something like adultery, cruelty, abuse or desertion — none of which is likely to happen if you and your spouse have agreed to work together on your split.
The good news is that Virginia does allow couples to live under the same roof for the purposes of their separation period, although they must have different sleeping arrangements, cease representing themselves as a couple, separate their bank accounts and clearly communicate their intentions to end the marriage (usually in writing).
What do you need to do to start the divorce process?
Even in the best-case situation, an uncontested divorce can develop complications. It’s wisest to start the process under the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. Please continue reviewing our website to learn more.