Fairfax Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences an individual will face in his or her lifetime. An experienced Fairfax divorce lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of divorce while being secure in the knowledge that your rights are being advocated for and protected every step of the way. One of the first steps in making sure you are prepared for divorce is understanding a few of the basic elements and a knowledgeable family law attorney can help you do so.

Types of Divorce

It is important to keep in mind that a person must first qualify for a divorce in order to obtain one. Under Virginia Code Section 20-97, one or both spouses must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of six months before filing for divorce. This includes those stationed in the state as members of the armed services. Additionally, the parties seeking divorce must have a written property settlement agreement before filing. Moreover, if the parties share children, they must be separated for at least one year before filing for divorce.

A Fairfax divorce attorney can work with clients to make sure they have met these requirements as well as other requirements that may arise throughout the divorce process.

Virginia Code Section 20-91 recognizes two types of divorce: and they are divorce from the bonds of matrimony and divorce from bed and board, which is typically referred to as separation.

It is important to determine which grounds best suit each person’s circumstances because it will impact many aspects of their specific case. The length of time for divorce proceedings depends on the individual circumstances of the divorce.

Divorce from the Bond of Matrimony

Divorce from the bond of matrimony is the traditional notion of divorce by which marriage is dissolved. It is possible to obtain a divorce from the bond of matrimony for three reasons:

  • Separation divorce, also known as no-fault divorce
  • Adultery, sodomy, or buggery; and/or
  • Conviction of a felony

No-fault Virginia divorces are most common, as a no-fault divorce does not require either spouse to prove that the breakdown of the marriage is the other person’s fault. Many times, a no-fault divorce is an easier process to undertake. If one spouse committed acts that led to the breakdown of the marriage, fault can still come into play when it comes to issues like spousal support. Judges can still grant a fault-based divorce even in circumstances where a no-fault divorce route is pursued.

Divorce from Bed and Board

The first grounds for divorce from bed and board are willful desertion or abandonment. This requires more than just a mutually agreed upon separation. The individual deserting the marriage must do so with the intent to stop cohabitation and desert the remaining spouse. Once such desertion has continued for one year or more, then the remaining spouse may be awarded a divorce from the bond of matrimony.

Another option for divorce from bed and board arises when there is cruelty and the reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. The requirements for these grounds are pretty straightforward and include the existence of acts tending to cause bodily harm so that continuing to live together would be unsafe. If anyone is in immediate danger because of physical abuse in their relationship, they should call emergency services. However, if someone is able to separate from an abusive spouse, they can typically file for a divorce from the bond of matrimony based on cruelty immediately following the separation.

Seeking the Services of a Fairfax Divorce Attorney

Divorce can be intimidating, but you do not need to face it alone. Working with a Fairfax divorce attorney can make a difficult experience much easier to deal with. We know that every divorce is unique, and are ready to work with you every step of the way. Contact a Fairfax divorce lawyer today, to find out how they can help you with your divorce.