Virginia Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer

Divorces are difficult for everyone involved, whether it is just the couple that is separating or children also involved. Individuals can experience strong emotional distress when separating from a relationship.

Then there are the added headaches of dealing with separating finances, and in certain circumstances, issues regarding children. A Virginia same-sex divorce lawyer can better help explain your rights to you.

Even though Virginia has recognized same-sex marriages since 2014, it was more recent that same-sex marriages have been recognized nationally. Regardless of whether the marriage was between a same-sex couple or not, the law will treat a couple the exact same way when it comes to a divorce. A skilled attorney can guide you through the process.

Steps to Obtain a Same-Sex Divorce in Virginia

First, an individual has to file a bill of complaint that states the grounds for the divorce and that the court has jurisdiction over this case.

Next, a person has to make sure their former spouse gets served with the bill of complaint. Service can be done through a private process server or through the sheriff’s department. If both parties agree to the divorce, the other person can agree to voluntarily accept service of the complaint instead.

Additionally, if the other person files an answer to the complaint, they have waived the requirement for service. The other party can list their own basis for the divorce in the answer and ask for support or custody. Otherwise, the party can file a cross-bill of complaint instead.

Court Orders

If during this time there are temporary issues that need to be resolved such as child custody or spousal support, either party can ask for pendente lite orders. These orders are temporary orders that should be followed by both sides until there are final orders.

Discovery will allow both sides to get any necessary information they need before the trial begins. If there are any motions to settle temporary issues, the court will also hear them. When children are involved, there is a special custody track that only deals with issues regarding custody, visitation, and child support.

For contested cases, there is a Commissioner in Chancery appointed to hear the case and decide how any of the grounds apply and if they affect support orders. With uncontested cases, individuals may have the option to appear before a notary or an open court. Individuals can gain a better understanding of their options once they speak with a Virginia same-sex divorce lawyer.

Grounds for Divorce in Virginia

Legally, one or both parties to the divorce has to have resided in Virginia for a minimum of six months before filing for a divorce.

Virginia only has fault-based divorce, but that does not mean there has to be a specific reason. If both parties agree to the divorce, there must be a minimum six-month separation before they can file for divorce. If there are children involved, then the separation has to be for a minimum of one year. Additionally, the couple must write up and compromise to a property settlement agreement.

Some of the more specific grounds for divorce that Virginia recognizes are:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Abandonment

A felony conviction and sentence of one year of a spouse, and after they are released, the couple does not return to their relationship

Speak with a Virginia Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Today

Going through a divorce is never an easy process for any couple. Getting advice from a Virginia same-sex divorce lawyer can help you understand the process and realize what grounds are best for your situation.