When a couple decides to file for divorce, there must be grounds for filing for divorce. The grounds are legal reasons that caused the marriage to break up.
There are two types of divorces in the state of Virginia:
- fault divorce
- Divorce without fault.
no fault divorce
A no-fault divorce is when both spouses come to a mutual agreement that the marriage must come to an end and there is no hope of reconciliation. A couple who wants to file for a no-fault divorce must be legally separated for at least 12 months before filing for divorce. This period of time can be reduced to six months if the couple signs a Separation Agreement and they have no minor children. Legal separation is the only ground for a decree of divorce in the state of Virginia.
A fault divorce is when one spouse commits marital misconduct that causes the marriage to break up. There are a number of grounds that can be used in a default divorce. These include:
Adultery in Virginia is sexual intercourse between a spouse and a person other than their wife/husband. If the spouse filing for divorce accuses the other spouse of adultery, he or she must provide proof of disposition and opportunity to the court. Adulterous disposition can be shown through photographic evidence of the spouse guilty of kissing, hugging and showing any other form of public affection towards another person. Timing is tested by showing periods in which the guilty spouse spent significant time alone with the illicit partner. For example, the spouse is seen entering the residence of his mistress late at night and is not seen leaving until the next morning.
If either spouse in Virginia is charged and convicted of a crime and is sent to prison. The spouse must be convicted of the crime and must be sentenced to at least one year in prison for the conviction to be grounds for divorce.
Desertion / Abandonment
If a spouse voluntarily leaves the marital residence for an uninterrupted period of time of at least 12 months with the intention of ending the marriage, it is considered desertion and can be used as grounds for a divorce in error. There are two types of desertion that can be used as legal grounds for a divorce; Real desertion and constructive desertion.
Actual desertion is when the spouse physically leaves the marriage with the intention of ending the marriage.
Constructive desertion is when the spouse does not physically leave the marital residence but is no longer involved in the marriage.
If either spouse is found guilty of physical, mental, or sexual abuse in the marital home, it is considered cruelty.
Insanity can be used as grounds for divorce . In order for a person to file for divorce on grounds of insanity, their spouse must be found incurably insane by the court and must be confined in a mental institution for at least three years.
A divorce by mistake does not require a period of separation of any kind before filing for divorce, as long as there are sufficient grounds to show that it is a divorce by mistake.
If you need a Virginia divorce attorney to help you with your Virginia divorce case, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia divorce attorneys can help. C