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Your Compassionate Champion In Divorce Law

At Williams Stone, PC, we proudly serve the community of northern Virginia with straightforward divorce advocacy. Our dedicated team is committed to delivering tailored legal solutions that reflect our core values: courage, integrity and dedication.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Virginia

Whether you are an active or retired military member, or a civilian navigating the complexities of divorce, we are here to help you understand the nuances of divorce law in Virginia. We provide answers to your questions and aim to make your future and your family’s future less uncertain.

How do I start the divorce process?

Divorce begins with filing a complaint in the relevant Virginia Circuit Court and paying applicable fees. The complaint must detail personal, marriage, and residency information, the grounds for divorce, and arrangements for any children involved. The complaint, along with a summons, must then be served on the other spouse.

What is a residency requirement?

For an uncontested divorce, the filing spouse must have been a Virginia resident for at least six months. A witness, such as a friend, family member or colleague, may need to testify to this residency.

What are the reasons for filing for divorce in Virginia?

Virginia acknowledges several reasons for filing for divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, willful desertion or abandonment, and incarceration on a felony charge for over a year as valid reasons for a faulty divorce. In some scenarios, pursuing a fault divorce may be beneficial. We at Williams Stone, PC, encourage you to seek legal counsel from our dedicated attorneys to discuss the best path forward in such cases.

Can we file a no-fault divorce?

Should you and your spouse have lived separately for over a year, Virginia law may permit a no-fault divorce. This typically involves living in different residences, not merely separate bedrooms. However, we understand that economic or other constraints might prevent physically moving out. In certain instances, Virginia allows for a no-fault divorce under the same roof, provided you and your spouse are living entirely separate lives. When a separation agreement is in place and there are no minor children involved, the separation period may be shortened from one year to six months, assuming one party intends the separation to be permanent.

What is the difference between a no-fault and an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce implies mutual agreement to part ways and requires a written separation agreement covering child support and custody if applicable, and equitable property division. Without children and with a separation agreement, you may file for divorce after a six-month separation. Otherwise, a yearlong separation is necessary. The agreement is crucial in an uncontested divorce, signifying irreconcilable differences and no hope for reconciliation. The separation agreement is the essence of an uncontested divorce.

What if my spouse does not agree to divorce?

A contested divorce arises when agreement on critical issues like property division, custody or support remains out of reach. If you have lived apart for over six months without resolving these disputes, a contested divorce may be inevitable.

What about mediation?

Mediation offers a cost-effective alternative to a fully contested divorce, involving a neutral third party, often a retired judge, to help resolve disputes. Our lawyers are seasoned in mediation, attentively listening to your needs and advocating on your behalf.

What is “equitable” property division?

Virginia’s approach to property division involves valuation, distinguishing separate property and equitably dividing marital property. This process considers various factors, including the marriage’s duration, each spouse’s health and financial resources.

How do we identify separate property?

In Virginia, separate property belongs solely to one spouse and includes assets acquired before marriage, by gift or inheritance. The distinction also applies to property purchased with pre-marriage earnings or from the sale of separate property.

How long will it take for my divorce to be final?

For uncontested divorces, the process may take two to three months post-filing. Contested divorces take up to 18 months. If your divorce is contested and your spouse has not filed an appeal, the divorce will be finalized 30 days after the preceding judge has signed the final decree. There are, of course, other factors that may delay this. If you would like to learn more, contact us for assistance.

Contact Our Reliable Family Law Attorneys

For legal counsel, advice and representation, contact our reliable family law attorneys at Williams Stone, PC, today by calling 540-643-9260 or reaching out to us online.