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To begin a divorce proceeding in Virginia, either spouse must have been a resident of Virginia or a member of the military stationed in Virginia for at least six months.
Grounds for Divorce in Virginia
Virginia divorce law allows for both fault-based divorce and no-fault divorce.
To qualify for a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must have lived apart for at least one year and must state that there are irreconcilable differences in your marriage. (If you have no children, the time period is shortened to six months.)
Grounds, or reasons, for a fault-based divorce in Virginia include:
- Felony conviction and imprisonment for more than one year after the marriage occurred
- Cruelty, including the reasonable fear of bodily harm
- Willful desertion or abandonment for at least one year
Your Virginia divorce attorney can help ensure you meet the legal requirements to file for a divorce in Virginia and guide you through the Virginia divorce process.
Virginia Property Division & Alimony
In Virginia, all property not classified as "separate" is considered "marital property" and will be divided "equitably" (but not necessarily equally). Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage and property obtained during the marriage via gift or inheritance to strictly one spouse.
Under certain conditions, the court will order alimony (also known as maintenance or spousal support) to be paid by one spouse to the other.The length and amount of support awarded depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial situation and earning capacity.
Your Virginia divorce lawyer can help negotiate a fair division of property and alimony agreement if necessary.
Virginia Child Custody & Child Support
Virginia child custody law requires that the court make custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child.Virginia courts will consider joint custody if it is in the best interests of the child. Generally, a parent who is not awarded custody is granted visitation rights.
InVirginia, child support is calculated based on the combined gross income of the parents and how many children are being supported. After the court has ruled on child support, the paying parent can make online payments through Virginia 4KIDS. The child support is then paid to the other parent.