Divorce Laws


Most people do not enter into a marriage thinking they are going to get divorced. When people get married, they often have children born or adopted into the family, they accumulate assets and debts and their lives become intertwined. However, when a marriage or domestic partnership starts coming to an end, chaos often erupts. If you are living in Virginia or Maryland and are considering or going through a separation or divorce, or if you are facing post-divorce issues, it is important to have a Maryland/Virginia attorney you trust to help and protect you in a way that safeguards your dignity while minimizing the damage and emotional turmoil caused by separation and divorce.

For over 20 years the Maryland/Virginia lawyers at the Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. have been helping clients with divorce issues in Virginia & Maryland. We have represented clients both in Virginia and Maryland. A significant amount of our clients reside in northern Virginia, primarily in Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, Alexandria and Prince William. Likewise, our clients in Maryland primarily reside in Montgomery County and Howard County.

Therefore, our level of familiarity with these courts is extensive. Our MD/VA attorneys have years of experience with Maryland and Virginia laws and the Courts handling these types of cases. Our domestic relations practice is focus extensively on dissolution of marriage, property distribution and spousal support/alimony and other collateral matters.

Our Virginia and Maryland attorneys are cognizant of the difficult nature of divorce and the issues surrounding it. Our law firm in VA & Maryland prides its detailed preparation, aggressively advocating for clients in Virginia & Maryland , and on being responsive to the needs of each individual client. We assure you that as your lawyer we will do our best to obtain a settlement out of court if at all possible, but we will not hesitate to advocate for you in the courtroom if necessary.

Virginia & Maryland recognizes no fault dissolution of marriages and fault based dissolution of marriages. Parties that divorce based on irreconcilable differences or choose not to argue about the basis for their dissolution of marriage can file for a “No Fault” divorce in Virginia & Maryland.

While divorce grounds in Virginia & Maryland have traditionally implied misconduct by one or another spouse, modern laws do not require “blame grounds” for divorce. A “No-Fault” dissolution may be granted if it is demonstrated that one of the intended parties in Virginia or Maryland decided to obtain a divorce from the other party and the parties has lived separate and apart for more than a year without any cohabitation. If the parties in Virginia/Maryland have an agreement that resolves all issues related to the divorce also known as a separation agreement and there are no minor children, the parties obtaining a divorce can have their separation period reduced from one year to six months. Although irreconcilable differences is a “clean” divorce ground in Virginia & Maryland, either party seeking a divorce can still seek spousal support as a result of the divorce, or can be a factor in determining the distribution of marital property at the divorce hearing. Furthermore, a judge in Virginia/Maryland may freely award a divorce on grounds of fault, although grounds for separation are “irreconcilable differences”, conversely, a judge may freely award a divorce “no fault”, even if there are grounds for error.

Adultery, sodomy or buggery — Fault grounds in Virginia & Maryland

To prove adultery in a Maryland/Virginia divorce is very factual. The evidence necessary to prove adultery for a divorce must be rigorous, satisfactory and conclusive that the other spouse actually had sexual relations with another person. While the testimony of a spouse must be confirmed to prove adultery, an “eyewitness” seeing the actual adultery is not required for a divorce. In fact, most cases of adultery grounds for a divorce without eyewitness testimony are proven by circumstantial evidence. Sodomy is another ground for a divorce in VA & MD. Sodomy is a sexual act other than sexual intercourse, such as oral or anal sex.

To have divorce grounds, the sodomy must be with someone outside of the marriage. Buggery is another grounds for a dissolution. Buggery is bestiality or a sexual act against nature. The standard of proof required in a dissolution of marriage for both sodomy & buggery is the same as for adultery.

Suspicion or speculation is not enough for a fault based dissolution in Virginia & Maryland. The “guilty” spouse facing a dissolution has a number of “defense mechanisms” against adultery, sodomy or buggery. If the guilty spouse facing a dissolution of marriagecan successfully carry out any of these defenses, no dissolution of marriage will be granted for these reasons. These are very fact specific dissolution issues and should be discussed with a lawyer.

Conviction of a felony crime is another ground in Virginia & Maryland.

If a spouse has been convicted of a crime, sentenced to more than one year in prison and is in fact detained, the other party has reason to file for a dissolution, unless he or she lives together again with the guilty spouse after knowledge of the confinement.

Unlike a dissolution of marriage that dissolves a valid marriage, annulment is a legal provision that a marriage is void. Annulments are granted only in limited cases, eg. For example, when a marriage has been obtained due to fraud, coercion or coercion.

Annulments cannot be granted simply because the marriage is short-lived, and legal annulments are usually not granted for “religious” reasons.



Are lawyers necessary for a dissolution of marriage case in Virginia or Maryland? Who pays the fees for a lawyer in Virginia/Maryland? Although a lawyer is technically not required in a dissolution of marriage proceedings, each spouse should seek separate lawyer in the event of divorce disputes, ownership rights, or custody of children. In a dissolution of marriage case, the same lawyer can not represent both sides because of conflicts of interest. A party employing a lawyer should discuss their fees with the lawyer and make satisfactory arrangements to pay them. Often, a lawyer requires an advance payment prior to commencement of the activity of the lawyer, which will be deducted from the fees incurred in the representation. Depending on the circumstances, one spouse may be required to pay or contribute to the other spouse’s legal fees. It is at the discretion of the court whether one party has to pay all or part of the attorney’s fees of the other party.


  • How Long Will The Process Take?
  • Issues To Be Resolved In A Dissolution Of Marriage Case?
  • What Will It Cost?
  • What Is No-Fault Divorce?
  • What Is An Uncontested Divorce?
  • What If I Don’t Want A Dissolution Of Marriage?
  • Alimony ?
  • What Are Dissolution Of Marriage Grounds?
  • Legal Requirements?
  • How To File For A Dissolution Of Marriage?
  • What Is Annulment Vs. Divorce?
  • Serving The Divorce?
  • Changing My Name After The Divorce?
  • Enforcing Divorce Agreements?
  • Custody During The Divorce?
  • Dividing Assests During Divorce?

If you need help in Virginia with a divorce case and need the help of a VA divorce lawyer, then you can count on us to be your Fairfax attorney, Prince William attorney (Manassas attorney), Herndon attorney, Vienna attorney, Purceville attorney, Fauquier attorney (Warrenton attorney), Loudoun attorney (Leesburg attorney), Caroline attorney, Stafford attorney, Spotsylvania attorney (Fredericksburg attorney), Chesterfield attorney, Henrico attorney, Arlington attorney, Richmond lawyer, Alexandria lawyer, Warren lawyer (Front Royal lawyer), Clarke lawyer, Shenandoah lawyer, call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a lawyer about your options. In MD, if you need help with a divorce case and need the help of a MD lawyer, then you can count on us to be your Montgomery County lawyer, Rockville lawyer, Bethesda lawyer, Maryland, Howard County lawyer, MD, Ellicott City lawyer or Frederick lawyer, do not hesitate to call us for a consultation in Virginia or MD.

Call and speak with a Maryland/Virginia lawyer today