When a couple is getting divorced, there are a number of issues that will need to be resolved. If the couple themselves cannot come to an agreement on certain sticking points, then it will be up to a judge to rule on those issues.
The process itself does not need to be overly complicated. The family attorneys at Curran Moher Weis have compiled key items and strategies regarding Virginia divorces and the overall court process.
Virginia is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that the law aims to divide property fairly between a divorcing couple, although it doesn’t necessarily mean everything will be split evenly.
When a couple is divorcing, their property is considered marital, separate, or part marital and part separate with a few exceptions. Marital property is considered any property that was acquired by the couple during the marriage. On the other hand, separate property is a property that was acquired before the marriage, any property that was obtained by inheritance or gift from a third party or any property that was acquired after the date of the separation with separate funds.
The court considers a number of factors when determining alimony or spousal maintenance:
Virginia is a state where a spouse can receive permanent support, even if both spouses are employed. This depends on the earning discrepancy between both partners.
Although Virginia allows for no-fault divorce, meaning that neither party has to take the blame for the marriage coming to an end, some couples will elect to file a fault-based divorce where adultery, cruelty, or desertion is involved.
If the couple agrees on all divorce issues, such as property allocation, alimony, and child custody, then they can file for an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is less expensive and time intensive than a contested divorce. You may also be able to avoid the courtroom by electing to have an uncontested divorce.
If you are filing for a divorce in Virginia, you must have been a resident for at least six months. The plaintiff is the person seeking the divorce, and the defendant is the person you are seeking to divorce.
The following procedural steps will take place:
The complaint is the document that initiates the divorce proceedings. The complaint contains information about the following:
Your spouse will be formally handed the divorce papers by either the sheriff or a private process service. In circumstances when the defendant lives out-of-state, or his/her whereabouts are unknown, he/she will be served by publication. When the service is by publication, notice must be published in a newspaper approved by the court clerk’s office
The defendant will file an answer that contains the following:
As the divorce action proceeds, different steps will be taken based on the type of divorce.
The family attorneys at Curran Moher Weis know the hardship that comes with divorcing your partner. We are here to answer any questions you may have about the divorce process and to offer comfort. Contact us to schedule your consultation today. We proudly serve Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.