Suffolk Divorce Lawyer
Divorce Attorney Helping Individuals Across Virginia Beach & Cape Charles
At Bush & Taylor, P.C., our Suffolk divorce attorneys recognize that divorce is one of the most difficult and stressful experiences anyone can go through. While no two divorces are alike, one thing remains constant—the need for aggressive representation by a Virginia divorce lawyer to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are protected.
When you turn to our Suffolk divorce lawyers, you can receive the personal attention and respect you deserve. Whether your divorce can be resolved outside the courtroom or needs to go before a judge, you can count on us to provide the skilled advocacy you need.
Contact us to make an appointment to discuss your divorce matter in a free consultation with a Suffolk divorce attorney.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Virginia?
To obtain a divorce in Virginia, the person filing must have grounds for divorce. Unlike other states where individuals can file and obtain a divorce or annulment easily, a Virginia court can only award a final decree of divorce if it finds that there is evidence of one or more of the grounds for divorce recognized by statute.
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.
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 in Virginia 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.
No Fault Divorce in Virginia
When neither spouse is required to prove fault or marital misconduct on the part of the other, it is known as a no-fault divorce. In this case, incompatibility or irreconcilable differences are sufficient grounds for divorce.
No-fault divorces in Virginia require couples to live apart from each other without interruption for a least a year. The time requirement is reduced to six months for those who have no minor children and have entered into a valid separation agreement.
The benefits of a no-fault divorce often include:
- Taking less time to complete the divorce process
- Reducing the costs of legal fees
- Preventing the exposure of private matters in public
- Establishing an amicable relationship for post-divorce interaction
- Reducing emotional stress on all parties involved
Fault Divorce in VA
A fault divorce occurs when one spouse blames the other for ruining their marriage. This type of divorce may be granted when the required grounds for marital misconduct are present.
Grounds for fault divorces in Virginia include:
- Sexual acts committed outside the marriage, including adultery, sodomy, or buggery
- Willful desertion or abandonment for at least one year
- Cruelty by one party which causes the other to have a reasonable fear of bodily harm
- A felony conviction with a sentence of at least one year involving a period of jail time
Filing for a fault divorce often impacts issues such as spousal support, child support, child custody, and the distribution of assets. To ensure the protection of your rights and financial interests in a fault divorce, it is crucial to obtain an experienced family law attorney in Suffolk.
Do I Need a Separation Agreement in Virginia?
Virginia courts do not grant legal separations, which means that you are not required to have a legal separation agreement to obtain a no-fault divorce. Though a separation agreement would certainly help you during a no-fault divorce, it’s not required. Without one, you and your spouse can still separate for the sake of a no-fault divorce by living separate and apart.
Call (757) 926-0078 for a Free Consultation With Our Suffolk Divorce Attorney
At Bush & Taylor, P.C., we believe that establishing close working relationships with our clients is key to providing effective representation. Our Suffolk divorce lawyer has a proven track record of success makes our firm a top choice for families throughout Virginia.