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Grounds for Divorce in Virginia

In Virginia, there are two kinds of divorce: divorce from bed and board (a mensa et thoro) and a divorce from the bond of matrimony (a vinculo matrimonii). A divorce from bed and board means the spouses are legally separated from each other, but they cannot get remarried. A divorce from the bond of matrimony means the spouses are officially divorced.

What are the Grounds for Divorce?

Spouses who have a divorce from bed and board can ask the court to grant them a divorce from the bond of matrimony after a minimum of one year has passed from the date they originally separated. Regardless, the court requires that grounds or legally valid reasons for divorce are present, and can be proven in the event the marriage ends.

The grounds for divorce are:

Divorce from Bed and Board

  • Willful desertion or abandonment: This requires one spouse to break off cohabitation and with the intent of deserting the other

  • Cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm: When one spouse is cruel and causes physical harm to the other, making it unsafe to live together.

Divorce from the Bond of Matrimony

  • Separation divorce: This is the "No-Fault" divorce. If a couple has been separated for one consecutive year, and they did not cohabitate at all, they can get a divorce.

  • Adultery, sodomy, or buggery: Adultery must be proven with strict and conclusive evidence that does show the other spouse did engage in sexual relations with another person.

  • Conviction of a felony: If a spouse is convicted of a felony, sentenced to confinement for more than one year, and is in fact confined, the other spouse can ask for a divorce.

Seek out an Experienced Divorce Attorney

The divorce process is complicated. With an experienced Suffolk divorce attorney by your side, you can rest easy knowing that your rights are being protected. The attorneys at Bush & Taylor, P.C., will make sure you are aware of your rights and obligations in this complex process.

If you are ready to start the divorce process, call us today at (757) 926-0078 to set up an initial consultation.