Virginia Divorce Requirements
Before filing for divorce the individuals involved must first meet the
residency requirements. In the state of Virginia individuals must file
in the county in which they reside. If the court discovers it does not
have the jurisdiction over the case, the petition will be dismissed.
If the individuals reside in different counties but still within the
state of Virginia, either spouse may file for divorce in either county.
Those applying for divorce must also be state residents prior to
filing. In some cases one spouse lives outside of state lines. As long
as the paperwork is filed through the county of the Virginia resident,
the case can be legally accepted.
Grounds for Divorce
In order to legally file for divorce individuals must first state the
reasoning for the divorce. The United States does not grant divorces
without proper grounds and reasoning. Each state has varying divorce
grounds and not all are legal in each state. Individuals may agree upon
divorce grounds and petition them to the court or one individual may
decide on divorce grounds but will need to prove them before the court.
Virginia breaks its divorce grounds into two different categories:
No-Fault grounds and Fault grounds.
No-Fault grounds state that the individuals involved did not live
together at the same residence for a minimum of one year. This year
cannot be interrupted and must include no cohabitation of any form. At
times this one year mark can be minimized to six months if the
individuals do not have adopted or birth children as products of the
marriage and they have entered into a separation agreement prior to
These children must be under the age of eighteen. Individuals often
submit to marriage counseling prior to filing for divorce on the
grounds of No-Fault. No-Fault grounds also do not mark one individual
responsible for the decree of divorce.
Fault grounds, on the other hand, do mark one individual at fault for
the divorce decree. Such grounds often include illegal activity,
substance dependency, maltreatment, and abandonment.
Fault grounds in the state of Virginia include buggery, sodomy, or
adultery of either individual; infliction of bodily injury towards the
other spouse; willfully deserting a spouse; and the conviction of a
felony offense resulting in confinement for a minimum of one year.
When one spouse is deserted by the other, the deserted individual may
legally file for divorce after one year. Fault grounds are often filed
by one individual.
Every divorce is different and varies depending on any children
present, the length of a marriage, property acquired, employment, and
divorcing grounds. Because divorce circumstances vary so do the number
of necessary documents.
Divorce documents can be as few as one dozen or as high as twenty for a
single case. Some of these documents include an Affidavit of
Corroborating Witness form, a Verification form, a Complaint for
Divorce and Decree of Divorce form, an Acceptance or Waiver of Service
of Process form, an Answer to Bill of Complaint for Divorce form, a
Marital Settlement Agreement form, and a Request for Ore Tenus Hearing