What is separation and why is it important in a no fault divorce?


According to Virginia law, separation occurs when a couple ceases to live together as husband and wife with the intent and purpose of divorcing. Typically, this occurs when one spouse moves out of the marital residence. However, in certain circumstances, it is possible for parties to live separately in the same house. A separation agreement, which can be crafted before or after the couple has physically stopped living together, is a legal document that can cover any number of issues such as division of debts, spousal and child support, child visitation and custody, property division, insurance, taxes, etc. While separation agreements are not mandatory, they settle the vast majority of cases in Virginia.

Separation is important, especially in a no-fault divorce, in order to meet the required separation time period allotted for the final divorce to be granted. Also, assets amassed after the separation may be held to be separate property prior to the legal dissolution of the marriage.