In Virginia, spouses are allowed one of two forms of divorce. The common one of these is the “absolute divorce”. This is defined as “the legal termination of a valid marriage”, which is a permanent divorce, spouses are permitted to remarry, and terminates property claims. It is also known as a “divorce a vinculo matrimonii”, which translates to divorce from the bonds of matrimony. An absolute divorce could only be granted by a judge on one of three fault grounds or through a no-fault separation of at least one year or in the case if the spouses have no minor children, a six months no-fault separation.
Like a marriage, a divorce also involves the three principal players, which are the plaintiff, the spouse, and the commonwealth. Along with other legal consideration, the spouse filing the divorce has to give the commonwealth an acceptable reason that the spouse should be allowed to take apart. A divorce is initiated by one spouse, the plaintiff, filing a bill of complaint, which is legal paperwork. In order for the divorce to be granted, the grounds for the divorce and show that the statutory and jurisdictional requirements have been met.
In the event of an absolute divorce, for the court to grant the absolute divorce, there are five grounds.
1. If the spouse has executed one of the following acts:
2. If the spouse has a Felony conviction
- Has been convicted of a felony after a marriage
- Has been sentenced to no less than one year of confinement
- Is consequently confined
- The plaintiff do not resume cohabitation with your spouse after learning of the sentence
In the case of the grounds one or two, there is no specific waiting period and an absolute divorce may be granted at any time.
- If the spouse has committed acts of cruelty towards the plaintiff for instance bodily harm
- if endangering the plaintiff’s life, health or safety
- If the spouse has deliberately deserted or neglected the plaintiff.
In the case of grounds three and four, an absolute divorce may only be granted after not less than a year since the spouse’s cruelty or desertion in accordance with the laws of Virginia. However, the plaintiff can file for a bed and board divorce if one year has not passed yet. After one year has passed the bed and board could be incorporated into an absolute divorce.
5. Voluntary separation
- If the spouses have lived separate and apart for six months, but only if they have no minor children and have signed a written separation agreement.
- If the spouses have lived separate and apart for one year and either have minor children or have not signed a written separation agreement.
In the case of the ground five, an absolute divorce may only be granted if the spouse and the plaintiff have lived separate and apart for the specific period.
Nevertheless, in Virginia, there must be “validate evidence” to confirm a ground for divorce, meaning a third person must testify to the fault or separation.
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.