The Walker Law Firm PLC
A Loudoun County Law Firm with a focus on Family Law

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Divorce Law in Virginia

In Virginia, common law marriage is not recognized. You have to be legally married to file for marital dissolution. Legal marriages done in other states and countries are recognized as valid in Virginia. However, marriages by the following are not considered valid and legal:

  • A person who already has another spouse

  • Persons who are close relatives

  • Persons of the same gender

What are the grounds for divorce in Virginia?

Virginia is a “no-fault divorce” state, meaning there is no need to assign blame or prove that the other spouse is at fault for the failure of the marriage. According to Virginia divorce law, a divorce will be granted if one or both spouses believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken, meaning it can no longer be fixed.

Who can file for a divorce in Virginia?

You can file for a divorce in Virginia if you or your spouse currently resides in Virginia. Except for rare circumstances, at least one party must be a legal resident of Virginia for six months prior to the time a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed.

Where do I file?

The Walker Law Firm will handle all the paperwork for you and will most likely file in Loudoun County Circuit Court.

How long is the divorce process?

The waiting period for a divorce in Virginia is six months. This is the minimum period required before the Virginia court can issue the final divorce decree.

However, it may take longer, especially when you and your spouse have not agreed on things. Other issues surrounding your case such as property disputes, domestic violence, child abuse, alcoholism or drug addiction that may pose a threat to your children may also impact the time it takes for your divorce case to become final.

During the waiting period, temporary orders may be issued to establish parenting plan for dependent children, provide protection or financial support, or control conduct of the spouses.

What is an uncontested divorce?

If you and your spouse agree on four basic issues namely, 1) Spousal Support, 2) Division of all marital property and marital debt, 3) Child Support, 4) Child Custody and Visitation, then you may qualify for an uncontested divorce. That means that you have settled the issues on your own and you do not need the court to decide these issues for you. Filing an uncontested divorce is much faster and less expensive.

What is divorce mediation?

Mediation in divorce requires a mediator or a trained neutral, usually a lawyer, accountant, or psychologist, to help spouses reach an agreement without court participation. It works best when both parties are generally at peace with the decision of getting a divorce. It can save a couple a great deal of money, time, energy and stress.