What to Expect During Divorce Proceedings in Virginia

There are many factors in play when going through a divorce. First, there is the emotional anxiety of separating a family. Then, there are the added complications of splitting up finances, such as property and support agreements. A person should be prepared for what to expect during divorce proceedings in Virginia.

Furthermore, if there are children involved, there are issues of custody and child support. By getting information from a Virginia divorce lawyer, you can at least be aware of what the next steps are in your divorce. Contact a qualified attorney today to review your options in a divorce proceeding.

Requirements for Getting a Divorce

Anyone who wants to get a divorce in Virginia must meet certain legal requirements. One of the parties to the divorce must be a resident of Virginia for at least six months before a divorce can be filed for. Additionally, the state is a fault-based state for divorce proceedings. The grounds for divorce in Virginia can be based on separation or specific, fault-based grounds.

Couples without children must be separated for at least six months before filing for divorce. Couples with children have to have been separated for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. With either situation, the spouses have to put together a written settlement agreement that lays out how the property will be divided.

Outside of Separation

Outside of separation, there are other grounds for divorce such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment. Additionally, if one spouse was convicted of a felony and sentenced to at least one year in prison, the other spouse has grounds for a divorce as long as they do not return to living together after the convicted spouse is released.

The advice of a Virginia divorce lawyer can help you understand what rights you have in your divorce. Also, if the divorce is based on separation then a Virginia divorce lawyer can help make sure your settlement agreement is fair to you. A person should get in touch to learn more about what to expect during a Virginia divorce proceeding.

Divorce Process in Virginia

To initiate divorce proceedings, one person has to file a bill of complaint. This should include the grounds for divorce and that one person has lived in Virginia for at least six months.

The next step is serving the complaint to the other party. Service can be done through the sheriff’s department or by hiring a private process server. Service can be waived if the other person files an answer or a cross-bill of complaint. Also, the other party can voluntarily decide to accept service.

What is a Pendente Lite Order

A person can expect a pendente lite order in some divorce proceedings in Virginia. The court will order pendente lite orders that settle spousal support and child support issues. The court will issue pendente lite orders if they apply. These are temporary orders until the divorce is finalized for issues such as child support or spousal support. These orders can be changed later as the divorce is finalized, but until it is, this allows a person to financially survive until the process is over.

Discovery and Settlement

Moving forward, the parties will go through discovery to obtain information on each other. Any side can also file a motion for any issues they have and the court will help settle the matter until the divorce is finalized.

When children are involved, there is a custody track that will handle custody and child support issues separately. Finally, a trial date will be set to finalize the case. When divorces are uncontested they can be settled faster. For contested divorces, a Commissioner in Chancery will be appointed to hear the grounds for the divorce and decide how the allegations will affect the settlement.

Let a Virginia Divorce Attorney Assist

Divorce proceedings in Virginia can be lengthy depending on how complicated your situation is. A Virginia divorce lawyer can help you understand what your options may be and better explain the overall process to you. For more on what to expect during a divorce proceeding in Virginia, refer to an attorney.