We offer fast, professional uncontested divorce services throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our experienced legal team has been handling divorces since 2001. We can help you with all the legal procedures and requirements that are required to secure a divorce for you in the most efficient, practical and cost effective way possible.
IS AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE RIGHT FOR ME?
To obtain an uncontested, no-fault divorce in Virginia, the following requirements must be met:
1. Separation. The parties have been separated continuously and without interruption for the required length of time, and at least one party has the intent to not reconcile the marriage;
2. Residency. At least one of the parties has lived in Virginia for at least six months before the divorce is filed;
3. Parties. Neither party is incarcerated (see costs section for this special situation), under 18, in the military on active duty (this can be waived by the servicemenber) or mentally incapable of handling their affairs;
4. Property. There are no issues of division of marital property that need to be determined by the judge. The parties have decided together how their property and debt is going to be divided, and have signed a written agreement, or Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) that describes their agreement. In other situations, there simply is no property or debt that needs to be divided;
5. Custody. There are no issues of custody or visitation that need to be decided by the Court. The parties can either include their custody and visitation agreements in their PSA, or it can be the subject of a prior court order;
6. Support. There are no issues of child support or spousal support that need to be decided by the judge. The parties have agreed on the amount of child or spousal support or it has already been determined by another court. In the case of spousal support, the parties can waive any support from the other;
7. Cooperation. Uncontested divorce requires both spouses to cooperate in the process. If the other (non-filing) spouse does not cooperate, then additional expenses may be incurred. See the Costs page for more details;
Uncontested divorces in Virginia can be started after the parties have been separated for more than 12 months, while at least one of them has no intent to reconcile. In situations where the couple has no children, and has signed a separation agreement, they only have to wait 6 months. You can find out more in the “Steps and Process” section of this website.
ADVANTAGE OF UNCONTESTED DIVORCE
Divorce in Virginia can take one of two possible paths. It can be a long, frustrating and expensive experience that divides the family, stresses the children, creates and perpetuates animosity and ill will between the former couple, costs the family tens of thousands of dollars, and creates wounds that take years to heal, if they ever do.
Divorce can also be a nearly stress-free experience where the parties are able to consider the needs of the other and to find common ground and make agreements that makes sense. People that find themselves in this situation are fortunate, as they can focus on the more important things in their lives, like the children and family, friends and loved ones, instead of enduring years of contested divorce.
COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY
Sit down. Talk. If you can’t talk use email, but find a way to communicate. Be nice. Put yourself in the other’s position and try to consider what they are saying from their viewpoint. Listen. Always keep in mind that it is better for the two of you to figure out all the issues that are part of the divorce than it is to have a stranger in a black robe listen to a day or two of testimony and evidence at trial and divide your property, decide custody and make all the other decisions that will impact you and your family for years to come.
When you can communicate you can figure out a solution that works. When you figure out a solution together both people have control over the outcome. In a successful negotiation and agreement, both parties will have made concessions and compromises, but they are rewarded with a solution that works for them and for the family.
Couples with children will benefit the most from being able to communicate with their former spouse. Their children are going to bond them together for the rest of their life. Beyond childhood and the raising of the children, once they are adults there are going to be weddings, graduations, grandchildren, family events, birthdays, etc. Even after divorce, the couple remain family because of their children, and that will never change. Learning to communicate and work together will benefit both parties for the rest of their lives. Divorce is the only legal adversarial process that is like this, and the parties who can effectively communicate and cooperate will understand and value this unique and enduring bond.