No-fault divorce or “Uncontested Divorce” is a means of divorce where the parties (the spouses) agree to “go their separate ways.” Unlike some contested divorce cases, in a no-fault divorce, it is not necessary to prove that either party deserted the other, committed adultery, or otherwise violated the sacrament of marriage. No-fault divorce is available to be sought in any Circuit Court in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the Counties of Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, Fluvanna, Cumberland, New Kent, King William, Charles City, James City, or Dinwiddie County, or just about anywhere else.

In Virginia, there are rules concerning when, and how, married parties may seek a no-fault divorce from one another. Under Va. Code § 20-91, there are essentially two types of no-fault divorce: one is available where the parties have no minor children and have been separated for six (6) months or more and intend to remain separated and have a written property settlement agreement (“PSA”) between them (a PSA is just a written agreement deciding “who gets what” when it comes to property in possession of the couple). The other is available for parties, whether or not they have minor children, who have been separated for twelve (12) months with the intent to remain separated forever.

If you have been separated from your spouse for six (6) months, you don’t have minor children, and you want to get divorced right away, your best bet may be to enter into a property settlement agreement and commence divorce proceedings in the Circuit Court where one or both of you live. Keep in mind, “separated” means you aren’t living together in the same house or apartment, or, if you are, you’re not sleeping in the same bed or bedroom, not sharing a bathroom or other space where you might disrobe, etc.

If you have been separated for a year or more, you may be able to commence a no-fault divorce without the need for a property settlement agreement. As noted above, separated means something—you can’t just say “we don’t like each other anymore” and march down to the courthouse for a divorce. You need to be living separately, in almost every sense of the word.

If you think you can resolve your issues or find a way to stay together, the best advice (not legal advice) is to try to stay the course. Seek counseling, try to lay off the partying or whatever else it is that is keeping you and your spouse apart, or just “put in work.” Whatever it is, if there’s something left to save your marriage, that’s my first and best recommendation.

Divorce of any kind can be complicated, so if you want to talk to me about getting some professional assistance, E-mail me, Call me at (804) 250-8911 or fill out the form available here.

*disclaimer: this blog is not legal advice—please call me or e-mail me to start the process of obtaining legal advice. This content originates with the Law Office of Thomas E. A. Bishop, with a mailing address of 5606 Greendale road, Suite C, Richmond, Virginia 23228. Thomas Bishop is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia. No guarantee of representation is made by this blog.


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