What are the requirements to be able to file a No Fault Divorce in Virginia

Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney

A common term for a divorce that has been made popular by the media over the past few decades is the "No-Fault Divorce". Virginia has basically two types of divorce actions. The first is a fault-based divorce which is a claim the person who files should be entitled to a divorce because their spouse has done something wrong, like committed adultery or deserted the marriage. These divorces tend to be very expensive and are normally only used when there are other issues that need to be addressed.

The most common form of divorce in Virginia is what is referred to as the "No-Fault Divorce". It is actually a divorce based on a legal separation for the required period of time. For more information on what it means to be legally separated, check out my article on it. If you have any minor children of the marriage (that means children born to the couple regardless of whether they were born during the marriage or before the marriage), you must be legally separated for one full year before you can file for a No-Fault Divorce. If there are no minor children, you can file after a six-month separation if both parties have signed a Separation Agreement. This agreement may be entered into any time during the separation period but must be signed by both parties before the divorce action can be filed.

Just because a divorce action is filed as a No-Fault Divorce, this does not mean that it is an uncontested divorce. For more information on the difference between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce, read my article about it.

If you are currently separated from your spouse and are ready to start the divorce process, download a copy of our guide: The Five Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Divorce Case. After you read the guide, contact me or give me a call at 757-276-6555. We will set you up with a phone consultation to discuss your situation further.