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.