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What to Expect During Divorce Proceedings in Virginia

Tysons Boulevard:. Reston Town Center:. Read our reviews on Facebook. Internet Marketing provided by. The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. If the couple has children, however, the couple must have been separated for at least a year.

Their written separation agreement also must include an adequate solution to the future custody and support of their children. The separation agreement lays the framework for an uncontested divorce. But as you can see, this can be mentally and emotionally complicated. You may want to seek a financial advisor and a divorce lawyer to help you produce this document in a way that ensures the best outcome for all involved. With an uncontested divorce, a couple essentially has no separation agreement.

But once a spouse meets the legal requirements for filing a divorce, the process becomes fairly straight forward. The plaintiff files the actual complaint which typically contains the following information:. Afterward, the defendant submits a response admitting or denying the claims. The accused can also file a counterclaim. An uncontested divorce typically takes two to three months before a judge finalizes it. Contested divorces usually take about 18 months.

And if no party makes an appeal, contested divorces solidify 30 days after a judge signs the final decree. During a divorce proceeding in Virginia, a judge will take a holistic look at all marital property involved before dividing it between the two spouses.

How Long Does It Take to Finalize a Divorce in Virginia?

This includes physical property such as a home or family car, as well as financial assets such as retail investments, brokerage accounts and even outstanding debt. Virginia divorce laws generally define marital property as acquired or earned during marriage. It defines separate property as property earned or acquired individually before the marriage. This can also include a gift made directly to an individual or a family heirloom passed down directly to an individual spouse even if that spouse was married.

An inheritance passed down to an individual also qualifies as separate property. However, separate property can become marital property during the course of a marriage.

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  • How Long Does It Take to Finalize a Divorce in Virginia?.

But after the judge differentiates property including financial assets as marital and separate, he or she will move on to divide these assets as fairly as the court deems fit. The judge will consider several factors such as liquidity of each asset and who has contributed a larger share. In addition, Virginia divorce laws also govern how the court may divide outstanding debt. The court can consider the following factors when making a decision.

Just as with financial assets, a judge determines what physical property is martial and which is separate under Virginia divorce laws. The court then measures the value of this property and divides it based on a system of equitable distribution.

This means the judge takes a holistic look at the entire financial picture of both spouses involved and divides property as fairly as possible under Virginia divorce laws. The court may consider several factors when determining how to divide physical property such as a family house.

Divorce Filing Process In Virginia

If the couple had children who live in the home, for instance, the judge typically favors the spouse who provided the most childcare. But even bad behavior can play a role here. So in a case of adultery or harm, the person affected can gain stake in how the court evaluates his or her share of marital property. Meanwhile, a spouse can also lose stake if he or she reduced the value of a contested piece of property. For example, a partner who intentionally wrecked the family car may have to pay for it down the road.

How Long is the Uncontested Divorce Process in Virginia?

If alimony is involved, Virginia divorce laws allow spouses to decide on the amount and its duration. The circuit court is the trial court with the broadest powers in Virginia. The circuit court has the authority to hear serious criminal cases called felonies. The circuit court also handles family matters, including divorce. In addition, the circuit court hears cases appealed from the general district court and from the juvenile and domestic relations district court. There is a juvenile and domestic relations district court in each Virginia city and county.

In Virginia, a juvenile is any person under 18 years of age. The juvenile and domestic relations district court hears all matters involving juveniles such as criminal or traffic matters. Juvenile delinquency cases are cases involving a minor under the age of 18 who has been accused of committing an offense that would be considered criminal if committed by an adult.

Divorce Complications

Other juvenile offenses may be referred to as status offenses. Status offenses are those acts that are unlawful only because they are committed by a minor. In addition, this court handles other matters involving the family such as custody, support and visitation.