A Kentucky judge recently refused to sign off on a couples uncontested divorce petition. The judge’s logic was simply that, in her opinion, the couple’s marriage wasn’t “irretrievably broken,” which is the standard for a “no-fault” divorce in that state.
She seemed to base her opinion on the fact that the couple had managed to be cordial toward each other and develop a good co-parenting relationship (things that are usually encouraged in ex-spouses). In her statement to the couple, she said, “I get the vibe that you all might be able to work this out. And I could be wrong, but I sit through a lot of these things.”
The unhappy couple is, naturally, working to get the decision reversed. Their predicament, however, begs the question: Could a judge do this in Virginia?
The same thing probably could not happen in Virginia
There’s always the possibility that a judge could find fault in your divorce petition, but you’re unlikely to find your no-fault divorce rejected simply because you and your spouse are able to be civil with each other.
What’s the difference? Requirements for a no-fault divorce are different from state to state and the laws can vary considerably. While Kentucky only grants no-fault divorces if a marriage is “irretrievably broken,” Virginia merely requires a couple to live separately for at least a year before a no-fault divorce can be granted.
News stories like this are a reminder that most people shouldn’t assume they understand the ins and outs of divorce law in their state. If you are seeking a divorce in Virginia, make certain you receive guidance from someone who actually knows the law and the process.