When a spouse prepares his/her application for divorce, courts require the filing spouse to list a specific reason for the request. Some states allow parties to file for divorce based on fault, meaning the spouse claims that his/her other half’s actions during the marriage are the cause of the breakup. If the spouse doesn’t have a specific fault reason for his/her divorce, this is alright.
In Virginia and commonly in the U.S.A, it is allowed to have some form of no-fault divorce, which courts usually base on incompatibility, or irreconcilable differences, which means that the spouses no longer get along and there’s no amount of therapy or counseling that can help them reconcile.
At Fault Divorces
There are a few reasons that are considered grounds for a fault divorce in Virginia. Some of these reasons include:
- Adultery: Even if the spouse admits to having an affair, establishing an adultery claim can be hard. The partner needs to call witnesses, and/or name names to prove adultery in court. The evidence required is strict and specific, and certain acts of infidelity are not considered adultery under the law. Also, if the partner knew about the adultery but continued to live and be intimate with his/her other half, the Court may decide the partner has forgiven the affair.
- A conviction with jail time: If a partner has been convicted of a crime and was sentenced to at least three years in prison, the other partner is entitled to a dissolve bonds of matrimony. But the convicted partner must have served at least 12 months of his/her sentence before the other half can file for dissolve bonds of matrimony in Virginia.
- Physical cruelty: To use this ground for dissolve bonds of matrimony, the partner must be physically abusive, to the extent that his/her marital home has become unsafe for the other half. It is not enough if the partner is mentally abusive; there must be actual physical harm.
- Abandonment: Abandonment must be an intention, and it must be continuous for during the one year separation period. In some cases, the partner may be able to prove that his/her other half abandoned the marriage even if he/she did not leave the home.
Grounds for No-Fault Divorce
The state of Virginia allows an uncontested no-fault dissolve bonds of matrimony based on a voluntary separation. No-fault divorces are not because of any supposed negative conduct by either spouse, but a mutual agreement that the marriage has failed. Thus, the spouse does not need any official grounds for getting a dissolve bonds of matrimony in Virginia. However, the spouse must prove they have lived under a separate roof and have had no sexual relations 12 months if they have minor children, or six months if they don’t have children and both spouses have agreed upon a Separation Agreement.
What Is a Separation Agreement?
Most dissolve bonds of matrimony settle long before the need for a trial, but only when the couples are willing to discuss the terms. In cases where the spouses can still communicate, drafting a separation agreement is the essential part of a divorce. During negotiations, couples agree on how to divide marital property, assign marital debt, and determine if either spouse will provide support for the other spouse. If the couple can agree to these terms, the legal process to divorce is less controversial and less expensive. This is all in accordance to the laws of Virginia.
If you need a Virginia Divorce Lawyer to help you with your divorce case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia divorce attorneys can help you. C