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Divorce Laws in Virginia

Virginia does not recognize common law marriage and does not require mediation or parenting classes for divorce.

Residency and jurisdiction in Virginia
At least one spouse must live, or be stationed by the military, in Virginia for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce in Virginia
Virginia allows fault and no fault divorce. No fault divorce will be granted on the following grounds:

  • Couple has lived apart and without sexual relations for at least one year
  • Couple is legally separated, has no minor children, and has lived apart without sexual relations for at least six months

Acceptable grounds for fault divorce in Virginia are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Felony conviction with a sentence of at least one year
  • Cruelty
  • Desertion for at least one year

Division of property in Virginia
Virginia is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50, but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. When dividing property the court must consider:

  • Length of marriage
  • Contributions to the well-being of the family
  • Contributions to the acquisition and maintenance of property
  • Age and physical and mental health
  • Circumstances of divorce and marital fault
  • How and when property was acquired
  • Debts and property which serves as security for debts
  • Inappropriate dissipation or transfer of assets
  • Tax consequences

Spousal support in Virginia
In Virginia, marital fault plays a large role in determining whether or not spousal support will be awarded. If the court decides to grant spousal support, several factors must be considered when determining the nature, amount and duration of support including:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during marriage
  • Needs and debts
  • Financial resources
  • Age and physical and emotional health
  • Parental responsibilities and their effect on employability
  • Contributions to the well being of the family
  • Property and assets, including property division
  • Earning capacity
  • Time and expense necessary to become self supporting, if possible
  • Damage to employability and earning capacity caused by the marriage
  • Contribution to education or earning capacity of the other spouse
  • Tax consequences

Child custody and support in Virginia
When parents, in Virginia, cannot agree on child custody the court will decide for them. Virginia law does not make specific requirements for factors that must be considered in child custody cases.

Virginia uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Virginia, contact an experienced Virginia divorce attorney today.

Click here to select from Virginia divorce lawyers in your area.

Click on a link to find a Divorce Lawyer in that state.
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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Virginia and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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