The state of Virginia allows both fault and no-fault divorces. The state recognizes six grounds for divorce. Two of the grounds don’t require a mandatory waiting period. The other four grounds require a mandatory one-year waiting period. The first two grounds for divorce listed below do not require a one-year waiting period.
The six grounds for divorce in Virginia are
- Adultery, sodomy or buggery
- Conviction of a felony with a prison sentence of more than one year. You cannot use this reason as grounds for divorce if you live with your spouse after he or she is released from prison.
- Physical cruelty
- Constructive Desertion. This normally means your spouse kicked you out.
- Uncontested no-fault divorce based on being separated for more than one year.
An exception to the one-year no-fault divorce allows a divorce after six months separation.
To file under this exception, you must have no minor children under the age of 18 from the marriage AND you also must have a signed separation agreement.
In Virginia your spouse cannot prevent you from getting a divorce. However, he or she can and probably will delay the divorce by disputing the grounds for the divorce, the settlement and distribution of assets and debts, child custody, child support, or alimony. If any of these things are disputed, you will probably need a hearing in front of the Circuit Court judge. If your spouse doesn’t contest any issue of the divorce or if everything has been settle then the divorce can be finalized without a hearing.
The Virginia Legal Aid website offers the following free instructions guide:
The state of Virginia does not offer free online divorce forms. Certain websites may offer the forms but they are not approved by the state for self-represented individuals. The Virginia Legal Aid website recommends the free online tool offered by LawHelpInteractive.com. Since it is not an official state website, we will not provide a direct link to the free online tool.
Feel like you need a divorce lawyer? Visit our Divorce Lawyers in Virginia page.