So you want a divorce in Virginia, but can you even get a divorce yet? How long do you need to be separated for divorce in Virginia? If you want a no-fault divorce, you do have to be separated first, but that begs the question, how long do you need to be separated for divorce in Virginia? That’s where AC Rieman can help provide some clarity.

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What is Separation in Virginia

There are actually two different ways that you can achieve separation status for a no-fault divorce in Virginia, which actually allows you to potentially apply for a no-fault divorce in as little as 6 months depending on your circumstances. We go over them below.

6-Month Separation

Woman taking her wedding ring off over paperwork

To get a 6-month separation there are a few requirements. Firstly you must be living separately and apart. It is possible to do so without either spouse moving out, though the guidelines for in-home separation can be strict. In addition to living separate and apart, you also need to have a separation agreement in place and you must have no minor children.

12-Month Separation

This one is much simpler. You don’t have to have a separation agreement in place and you can have minor children together. Again, you just must be separate and part for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.

Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Virginia

Difference Between Separated and Desertion

It may seem like a hard line to draw. How can an outsider, such as the Virginia court system, tell if you are separated or if one spouse has deserted another. Why does it even matter? If one spouse deserted another, that can result in a fault divorce.

To prove desertion, you must prove that the deserting spouse has intent to end the marriage, that nothing was done by the deserted spouse to justify the desertion, and the desertion was against the wishes of the deserted spouse. It helps to prove the case for desertion if the deserter has ignored marital duties including but not limited to contributing to bills like the mortgage or caring for children.

Read More: Can You File for an Uncontested Divorce with Children in Virginia?

Can You Date While Separated?

We get this question a lot. Overall, we recommend you do not date until your divorce is finalized. It is not a crime to date, but adultery is still a crime in Virginia and you are technically still married. Often, when children are involved, dating can have an impact on the court’s decision when it comes to custody and visitation.

Need Help With an Uncontested Divorce in Virginia?

If you need help with an uncontested divorce in Virginia, then you can come to AC Rieman. We specialize in uncontested divorce among other things, and we are affordable. With our location in Culpepper, we can serve all the surrounding areas in Northern and Central Virginia including Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Front Royal, Manassas, Fauquier County, and more.

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Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.

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