Crucial Virginia Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce
Residency Requirements for a Virginia Divorce Action
As a requirement in filing for divorce in Virginia, either of the spouses must have resided in the State for at least six months before the Virginia divorce papers have been filed.
Virginia Grounds For Divorce
The State of Virginia recognizes two types of divorce called Divorce from the Bond of Matrimony (Complete and Absolute Divorce) and Divorce from Bed and Board (The couple is legally separated but are not allowed by law to remarry.)
Grounds for Divorce from the Bond of Matrimony
- Separation or No-Fault Divorce – the couple has been living separate and apart for a minimum of one year, although this can be reduced to six months if the parties have entered into a separation agreement regarding the property and issues concerning their child(ren).
- Adultery, sodomy, or buggery – must be proven with solid evidence, otherwise the divorce complaint will not be granted on these grounds.
- Conviction of a felony – such conviction resulted in imprisonment of either spouse for more than a year.
Grounds for Divorce from Bed and Board
- Willful desertion or Abandonment – If one party left the other for a period of one year or more to avoid the latter’s cruelty, this ground cannot be used against the spouse who left.
- Cruelty – One party is inflicting physical harm that endangers the life or well-being of the accuser. Verbal and mental cruelty will not suffice using this ground.
Child Custody Law in Virginia
Child custody is probably the most weighty and sensitive aspect in most divorce actions. However nasty, costly, and lengthy a divorce proceeding could get, the court ultimately looks into the child’s best interest as paramount.
Parents may be granted either Sole Custody (sole physical custody or sole legal custody) or Joint Custody (joint physical custody or joint legal custody), depending on the circumstances and pieces of evidence presented in court.
The court may make subsequent changes to its child custody decisions such as pertaining to the child’s medical and dental care, child care, support, and other custody issues by virtue of the court’s continuing jurisdiction.
Guidelines for Virginia Child Support
Based on the income shares model for calculating child support and official guidelines, Virginia child support standards consider the combined monthly gross income of both parents.
Monthly support is determined with the application of these guidelines, keeping in consideration the reasonable expenses in rearing the child and the income and earning capacity of each parent.
One formula is using a table for incomes and set percentages of the gross income to be added to the amount of child support.
Where to file for a divorce?
The filing of the Virginia divorce forms may be in the county of residence of either the plaintiff or the defendant, or in the last county where the former couple stayed together.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Virginia online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Virginia Residents” above and also review the top online divorce sites.
Divorce mediation in Virginia is a process that helps former spouses to resolve their case to the best interest of the children. Through a neutral third-party trained in dispute resolution, mediation assists the couples in resolving issues causing conflicts in order to reach better informed decisions. Before or after filing the Virginia divorce papers, parties may decide if divorce mediation is what they need to make the proceeding less painful and traumatic.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Virginia Courts