What does it actually take to be "legally separated" in Virginia?

One of the most common misconceptions about being "legally separated" in Virginia is that it requires some type of paperwork to be filed somewhere. In fact, all that is required to be legally separated in Virginia is that the spouses are living separate and apart and one of them intends to end the marriage. It does not require a mutual agreement to end the marriage. If you are living separately from your spouse and intend to end the marriage, you are legally separated in Virginia. Many couples want to address the issues involved in getting a divorce through a separation agreement. This is an agreement between the husband and wife as to how they want to handle their affairs in the divorce: who gets what, who pays for what, child support, child visitation, spousal support, retirement benefits. These are all things that should be covered in the Separation Agreement. It must be signed by both the husband and wife to be valid.

Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney