In-House Separation in Virginia – How do you do it?

You may know that you and your spouse must live separately for a period of time (either six months or a year, depending on the circumstances) before you qualify for a no-fault divorce in Virginia.  But must you and your spouse live in separate households before or during a pending divorce to qualify as being separated? The short answer is “probably not.” In most cases, you and your spouse can continue to live in the same home during your separation and/or pending divorce proceedings, provided you take steps to establish an “in-home separation.”

Virginia courts generally recognize in-home separations as valid.  Courts realize that sometimes divorcing spouses are unable or unwilling to maintain separate households for financial, child care, or other reasons during the divorce.

So how does an in-home separation work? That answer is a bit more complicated and there is no single way of doing it, but outlined below are some of the important things to consider when separating in the same home.


6 Myths About Separation and Divorce in Virginia

Often, clients who see me for an initial consultation arrive with information they may have learned from friends, family, or the internet – information which may not be accurate. The following are six common myths I have heard regarding separation and divorce, and the facts about each.

Myth # 1: “If we can’t agree on everything, we have to go to court.”

Fact: Although some divorce cases end up in a final hearing before a judge, the vast majority of cases are resolved beforehand — even cases that start out being very contentious.  Someone has to make decisions on issues regarding children, support, and property.  The people in the best position to make these decisions are the parties themselves, although many need help getting there.