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What Are The Rules For Divorce In Virginia

Every country, state, and city in the world has different grounds for divorce and separation. If you want to know how divorces work in Virginia, before going to a family lawyer, read below.

Types Of Divorces In Virginia

There are mainly two types of divorces in Virginia:

Divorce from bed and board: It’s the type of divorce that doesn’t end the marriage, but the judge can decide the factors of maintenance, custody, asset distribution, and more. You can apply for this type of divorce, if your spouse is abusive towards you, has done physical harm to you, or has abandoned you.

Divorce from a bond of matrimony: It’s the type of divorce that signals towards the end of a marriage and your license is canceled and you both are no longer spouses. This is what a traditional divorce is known as.

Is Residency Required?

Yes, you can only apply for divorce in Virginia, if both of you or either of you has spent six months living in Virginia. If you have recently moved from somewhere to Virginia and you haven’t crossed the 6-month limit of residing here, then you cannot apply for divorce in Virginia, rather you have to go back to where you loved previously in order to get the divorce finalized. If you or your spouse is in the army or is stationed in another place, then you also need to complete the 6-month limit of being in Virginia, before being stationed or moved, to apply for divorce.

What If You Don’t Have Children?

Not having children actually makes the divorce process much easier and you don’t have to go to a separate trial for child custody. You will need to go through all necessary divorce steps, like filing for a complaint, serving the papers to your spouse, speaking in front of a judge, the alimony finalization, etc. but you won’t need to have a trial for child custody, which obviously makes the process faster and less complicated when it doesn’t have children involved.

Divorce Alimony

Divorce alimony is an amount one spouse (husband) has to pay to the other spouse (wife) after the divorce settlement. This alimony or spousal support can be a lump sum amount, which can be paid to one spouse at once, or it can be made into monthly installments, where the spouse paying the alimony needs to meet the deadline given by the court, in order to not get charged in any way, shape or form. This amount is usually decided by the judge and all factors like finances, children, their expenses, etc. are involved. This makes for a fair alimony amount for both parties.

The Jury’s Way Of Coming To A Verdict

A divorce judge is someone who specifically looks at divorce cases and comes up with a just verdict. The factors which the judge has to go over, in order to come up with a fair verdict, include the standard of living of both parties during the marriage, the needs and responsibilities of each person, children and their expenses, academic expenses, medical expenses, etc. These are the grounds on which the judge comes up with a decision and he/she also has to see what problems are occurring in these factors which are steering the parties towards a divorce and whether this decision of moving forward with a divorce is right or not.

Division Of Assets

The division of assets is also different in Virginia. It is not usually a 50/50 split, as seen in other places like California, Los Angeles, etc. The division of assets is done justly and it is fair among the parties. It is done by evaluating how much money the spouses make together and what is the track of spending among both of them. From here, a fair division is made and presented by the court, which can be appealed if one party has a conflict with the division.


There you have it! These grounds and basic rules are important to remember when you are either going through a divorce or applying for one in Virginia. This will make the process much easier for you. To keep things easier, consult top rated divorce lawyers Fairfax VA.

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