Manassas Divorce AttorneyExperienced Divorce Lawyers committed to helping families in Manassas, VA.
If you are going through a divorce in Virginia, you should retain experienced representation as soon as possible. This state’s divorce laws are complex and abundant. The legal requirements for divorce in Virginia include the stipulation that one or both parties have been state residents for at least six months before they can file in Virginia. If one spouse is trying to file for a “no fault” divorce, both spouses must have lived separately and apart for the required separation period which is six months if there are no minor children and one year if the parties have minor children.
At McCollam Wright, PLLC, our divorce lawyers in Manassas have years of experience in this complex area of law. We can navigate you through the complicated legal process while helping you make well-informed choices about your family and future. Our legal team genuinely cares about our clients, and we fight relentlessly on their behalf. Whether you are trying to retain custody of your children, establish fair child support payments, keep your assets, or anything similar, we can handle it.
When Should You Hire a Divorce Attorney?
Consulting with your own lawyer can assist you to examine the circumstance and better protect your interests. Going to court without a divorce lawyer can forever hurt your interests, as a judge's choice is extremely difficult to undo. Undoing a divorce agreement is challenging and usually only enabled under really limited situations.
Another thing to consider is hiring a divorce lawyer, who can perform an evaluation of your proposed divorce petition prior to you signing it.
Is Virginia a No-Fault State?
While you are not required to claim fault in order to divorce a spouse in this state, fault can still be relevant to matters such as the separation of your shared property and spousal support.
Grounds for divorce in Virginia include the following:
- Was convicted of a felony and confined for more than one year without cohabitation following confinement
- Willfully deserted one year from the date of such act or caused fear of bodily harm
- Buggery, sodomy, or adultery was committed outside the marriage
- Was cruel to the other spouse
If you and your spouse have minor children together, you should know the child support guidelines in Virginia, as well as the child custody laws. A skilled divorce attorney at our firm can help you understand your situation better and inform you of the potential long- and short-term consequences of your decisions.
How to File for Divorce in Virginia
Here are the basic steps you will need to follow to file for divorce in Virginia:
Complaint - One spouse (the “Plaintiff”) will file a document petitioning
for divorce in his or her county’s court. The spouse will also pay
the required filing fee. Some items that will be included in the complaint are:
- Date and place of marriage
- Where each spouse currently lives
- Military status of each spouse
- Residency information
- Grounds for the divorce
- The date of separation
- Information regarding any children from the marriage if applicable
- Service – The complaint and summons (a document submitted by the court) must be delivered to the other spouse (the “Defendant”). There’s an official process for this so contact our firm to learn more.
Commonly Asked Divorce Questions
Is there a residency requirement to divorce in Virginia?
Yes, one of the spouses must be a VA resident for six months or more before the couple can file for divorce in the state.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost in VA?
No divorce is identical, and that means costs may vary from case to case. There are fixed fees such as filing the papers and sending a representative to serve your spouse. These fees generally range less than $100.
Does a Prenup Affect my Divorce?
If the prenuptial agreement is valid with every requirement being met, then it can help you during divorce proceedings if the terms protect your belongings such as assets and property.
Does Virginia allow for legal separation?
Yes and no. Virginia does not have a legal mechanism for separation; however, spouses can enter into contracts during their separation period to settle issues such as property division, custody, support, etc. even though the marriage is not legally ended. There is nothing to be filed with the court when spouses separate.
Filing for Divorce
Spouses who wish to file a “no-fault” divorce, must be separated for a minimum amount of time before one spouse can file the Complaint. If the parties have minor children, they must separate, and remain separated, for a period of at least one year. If the parties do not have any minor children and they have entered into a Separation Agreement, they can petition for a divorce after having lived separate and apart for six months.
If there are grounds for the divorce, the separation period is waived and the spouse can file immediately on grounds or “fault.”
How to Determine the Separation Period?
The separation period begins when one spouse forms the intent to separate from the other, physically separates from the other by living separate and apart as if not married. Parties can separate within the same household so long as they physically separate and live separate and apart within the home and carry on with their daily lives as if unmarried. Proving in-home separation can be tricky so you really should discuss what constitutes an in-home separation with an experienced attorney.
If you have any concerns or questions about your divorce, call McCollam Wright, PLLC today and speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Manassas. We can take a look at your situation and help you determine how to best proceed.
Get started on your case by calling (703) 420-7011 or contact us online.
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