To get a divorce in the Commonwealth of Virginia or before either spouse of a marital relationship can file for divorce in the state, at least one spouse of the married couple should have lived in the state of Virginia for 6 months. When it comes to getting a divorce in Virginia of the members of the armed forces, they satisfy the residency requirement in case they are stationed in Virginia State for a minimum of six months that also includes living on a federally controlled naval, air, or military base anywhere within Virginia or living on a ship having a Virginia home port. Additionally, armed forces’ members stationed outside of the United States can easily meet the residency requirements simply by presenting that they lived in Virginia state for 6 months right before the foreign assignment started.
In case your case is very simple and you as well as your spouse do agree on everything, then you can go on representing yourself, which is also known as proceeding “pro se.” In an event you do choose to demonstrate yourself; however, the courts will then expect you to rightfully comply with the exact same rules and regulations that a professional attorney would have to follow.
However, certain cases are overly complex, like those that involve a complicated financial analysis or an emotional custody war. And even with simplistic cases, legal documentation as well as a settlement agreement will have to be crafted, most preferably by any individual who has obtained extensive experience of doing so. Consequently, it is always a thoughtful idea to acquire legal consultation simply because the decisions and choices you make in your divorce case will eventually have significant, long-term consequences, which may not be instantly evident. Even when you and your spouse agree on each and everything, none of you can take advantage of the same lawyer either.
The Commonwealth of Virginia does have fault grounds to obtain a ‘fault’ divorce. Such grounds include:
- adultery or other sexual actions outside of the marriage (particularly buggery or sodomy);
- reasonable fear of physical harm;
- willful abandonment or desertion; and
- felony charge with a sentence of a minimum of one year as well as certain period of actual imprisonment.
You must know that every fault ground requires certain proof that has to be quite specific. Additionally, there are some defenses available as well. For instance, an innocent spouse who chooses to live voluntarily with a guilty spouse even after knowing about his wrongful sexual acts or a felony conviction will no longer be able to support her complaint for the divorce on such grounds.
While rightful proceedings on a fault-ground are more complex than lawful proceedings on the separation grounds only, there may be certain cases where the lawful proof of fault will impact the award of alimony or division of marital property. In case you think that there could be some hidden advantage of picking up a fault ground in your specific case, then approach a family lawyer for getting a divorce in Virginia.