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Exploring Divorce Options in Virginia

Exploring Divorce Options in Virginia

If you are seeking an end to your marriage in Virginia, you may choose among several types of divorce options. Understanding these choices will allow you to determine which best suits the outcome you desire. It is no secret that splitting up is one of the most difficult decisions you can make in your life — and you will want to make certain you have selected representation you are comfortable working with and trust.

Types of divorce in Virginia

Divorce and separation in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be complex, as there are many types and forms a spousal split can take. Here are some terms and ways a divorce might be pursued in Virginia:

  • In Virginia, a divorce is officially called a “divorce from the bonds of matrimony.” A couple can alternatively file for a divorce from “bed and board,” which means that while the pair is still technically married, they claim separate residences and lives. Bed and board divorce is analogous to a formal separation, and often takes place while a full-scale divorce is in process.

  • No-fault divorce. This type of split can occur in one of two ways. If you and your spouse have lived in separate and apart for at least one year, you can file for and obtain a no-fault divorce (if you have resolved all the financial issues between you and the issues concerning parenting your children). If you do not have children and have signed a separation agreement, your waiting period will likely be shorter.

  • Fault in divorce. When you are seeking a divorce from your spouse, if you believe them to be at fault (and it qualifies as a fault ground under Virginia law), you can file for a divorce that claims this. You must, however, be able to provide evidence of qualifying fault in order to seek a divorce with fault. At that time, there may not be a waiting period for a divorce. However, proving fault of this nature can be expensive, time consuming and offer little value to you or your familyFurther it will normally come with emotional and anger issues and make future cooperation between parties difficult.

  • Contested divorce. Potentially the most cumbersome option, contested divorces happen when the pair cannot agree on the terms of their divorce (custody, visitation, division of assets and debt and support). The court steps in and after multiple hearings a judge makes a ruling which may or may not be best for you and your family.

  • Uncontested divorce. When both spouses agree on the terms of their split, the divorce is called uncontested. Many times, terms can be arrived at amicably in divorce mediation, with or without the need for a divorce lawyer. When a couple decides to undergo mediation in pursuit of their divorce, they are entering a respectful and solution-oriented space that attempts to find the most workable solution for both people and if they have children for their children.

At Divorce Mediation Associates, we pride ourselves on being a positive, economical solution for many families during divorce. Working for couples throughout Northern Virginia, we know firsthand the complexities of this difficult time, and we commit to being a neutral third party to help you divide assets, agree on custody and child support, and otherwise shepherd the divorce process in a smooth and positive way. If you’d like more information about mediation or divorce, please call 703-665-7592, or contact us online to schedule an in-person appointment.