Online Divorce in Virginia
For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of Virginia, online divorce is an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorce may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at Onlinedivorce.com makes it easy on you. We help prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in Virginia.
Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to have their divorce papers completed quickly and stress-free. Even though Virginia has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, our online system can provide you with exactly what you need and provide instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce and want an amicable dissolution to your marriage, why should the process get drawn out and why should you spend money on lawyers? Online divorce is often cheaper, quicker and easier.
Online divorce is the perfect option if you want to save money or if you hope to have your divorce quickly finalized so you can get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in Virginia is quickly becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home. Even if you think your case is too complex because you have children, own your own home or have other assets, you may still be able to prepare your documents online. Just start with our simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you instructions for each step of the way.
Finally, you don’t have to worry - our process is 100% secure. We protect your information and nothing is filed until you submit the divorce papers to the courthouse yourself. Filing for divorce in Virginia with the Onlinedivorce.com system can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.
When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire. You can fill it out alone or with the assistance of your spouse. Then, you will need to get a signature from your spouse and you can file the divorce forms with your local court. In Virginia, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside. If a petitioner is not currently a resident, but a defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.
The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with your completed divorce forms. You can also obtain assistance from your local courthouse by calling or stopping by.
After the initial filing, you may need to follow up if there are any issues with your documents. When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we allow you to make small adjustments to your forms as requested by the court at no additional charge. Our goal is to help you obtain your divorce with as little hassle and stress as possible using our online divorce documents preparation service.
Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. Virginia is no exception.
If you wish to file for divorce in Virginia, one or the other spouse must live in the state with proven residency for at least six months before filing. Usually, this would be the spouse that chooses to file for divorce. However, there are exceptions to this matter.
There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date Virginia driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.
Valid grounds to get divorce in Virginia
Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of Virginia. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.
There are, in general, two acceptable reasons for divorce in Virginia.
The no-fault grounds for dissolution of marriage in Virginia include:
Living separate and apart without any cohabitation for at least one year or
Or, if there are no minor children and a separation agreement has been crafted, living separate and apart without any cohabitation for at least six months
General grounds for divorce in the state of Virginia include:
Adultery (which is to include homosexual acts);
Conviction of a felony which leads to imprisonment for at least one year;
Cruel behavior toward the other spouse; and
Custody of the child in Virginia
In the State of Virginia, the court wants to create a custody situation that is comfortable, safe and effective for the children and both parents. In most cases, joint legal custody and some form of shared physical custody will fulfill this need. If the family situation is not stable and the child may be harmed mentally, physically or emotionally by a shared custody plan, the court will work to create other arrangements. In these cases visitation (supervised or otherwise) may be deemed a better option to keep the child in contact with the non-supervisory parent.
In some cases, custody can be set up as a short-term solution to be revisited at a later date if the family or living situation is expected to change dramatically.
Joint or sole custody will be determined on a case-by-case basis based on the welfare of the child, as well as consideration of these following factors:
- The age of the children or child;
- The child’s preference if he or she is old enough and mature enough to make such a preference known;
- The ongoing needs of the child;
- The displayed love and affection which exists between the child and each parent;
- The mental, emotional and physical health of all individuals involved;
- The ongoing material needs of the child;
- The role that each parent has played in the care of the child prior to divorce; and
- Any other relevant factors necessary to make a decision in the best interests of the child.
No preference is to be given to either parent based on gender. [Code of Virginia; Title 20, Chapter 6, Section 107.2].
Filing fees for divorce in Virginia
When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
How long will take it
The use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of your case. You’ll start filling out the questionnaire immediately and can either complete it in one sitting, or you can save your progress and complete it at a later date if that is more convenient for you.
Once you’ve gotten the documents complete, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll have more information regarding the finalization of your divorce case once you complete your paperwork and submit it with the clerk of courts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I really file for divorce in Virginia without a lawyer?
Virginia laws contain a provision allowing parties to a divorce lawsuit to represent themselves without a lawyer. Wherein it does not matter whether the spouses have minor children, property, or alimony issues. Court procedures and filing requirements are the same for the Pro Se litigants and for the parties who retain an attorney.
Nevertheless, if the spouses have not resolved their disputes by an agreement and would like to contest the case, such a do-it-yourself divorce without a lawyer can be a risky, lengthy, and stressful process. Neither Court Clerk's office staff nor court personnel can give legal advice and explain to the couple how to proceed, so the spouses have to assume full responsibility for the complicated process of a contested divorce as well as its implications.
No-fault uncontested divorces are typically easier to arrange without legal representation since they do not imply litigation. Besides, an uncontested divorce means that the spouses already have an agreement concerning the essential terms of their separation. However, at the same time, the parties themselves are responsible for preparing all legal forms and documents to be filed with the court in a divorce.
Those spouses looking for a fast and affordable way to complete all the divorce papers for their uncontested case with less effort can take advantage of OnlineDivorce.com in Virginia and be sure that the court will approve the documents with no trouble.
How can I file for divorce in Virginia without a lawyer?
Foremost, the couple has to meet Virginia residency requirements to file for divorce within the state.
If the spouses are qualified to get a divorce in Virginia, the party initiating the case (the plaintiff) must complete and submit the initial divorce forms to the Circuit Court and pay a court filing fee.
The next step is the serving process, meaning delivering copies of divorce papers to the second spouse (defendant). In Virginia, the divorce papers, including the copies of Complaint and Summons, can be served by a Deputy Sheriff, a private process server, or a person authorized to serve in the process.
The defendant can either accept or waive service. In a no-fault uncontested divorce, by signing a Waiver of Service of Process, the defendant informally accepts the Original Complaint for Divorce. This can somewhat shorten the timeline of the divorce procedure.
Since Virginia laws do not require a mandatory waiting period after filing to finalize the divorce, the court hearing (during which the court reviews the spouses' Settlement Agreement) can be scheduled with no delays.
How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce in Virginia?
Many ways of arranging a divorce in Virginia are available, so the cost of the whole process is hard to predict without considering the particular case. The spouses may either retain an attorney even for their uncontested divorce, resort to divorce mediation, counseling, and other legal aid, or proceed independently.
For those couples who decide on a DIY divorce, expenses can be limited to paying for divorce paperwork drafting services (like OnlineDivorce.com) and the court filing fees only.
A court filing fee ranging from $150 to $290 from county to county is mandatory for all couples filing for divorce unless they are qualified for a waiver due to financial hardship.
How long do you have to live in Virginia to file for divorce?
For Virginia courts to have jurisdiction over the dissolution case, the parties must meet the state's residency requirements.
According to the Code of Virginia, at least one of the spouses must have been a bona fide resident of Virginia for at least six months before filing the petition.
Besides, the spouses shall file for divorce in the county where one of them currently lives or in the last county where they lived as a married couple.
How long do you have to respond to divorce papers in Virginia?
A defendant served with the copies of divorce documents, including the Complaint and Summons, has 21 days to file a response.
If the defendant decides to waive answering in an uncontested divorce, the dissolution procedure may take less time, and if he or she does not respond at all, the plaintiff is eligible to ask the court to enter a default judgment.
As there is no mandatory waiting period for getting divorced in Virginia, an uncontested court hearing (if necessary) can be scheduled with no delays.
How do you get a free divorce in Virginia?
Although a no-fault uncontested divorce in Virginia can be rather inexpensive, it still is not free due to mandatory court filing fees charged to all plaintiffs while starting the case.
In theory, a free dissolution of marriage can be available only for the plaintiffs whose income is considered low based on poverty guidelines, qualifying them for a fee waiver.
To proceed in forma pauperis, the person shall file a Petition for Proceeding in Civil Case Without Payment of Fees or Costs.
What papers do I need to file for a divorce in Virginia?
In Virginia, the initial divorce forms are the Bill of Complaint for Divorce and Summons. These forms are required to start the divorce action. Other common divorce forms include Divorce Case Cover Sheet, Monthly Income and Expense Statement, Vital Statistics Form, Acceptance/Waiver of Service of Process and Waiver of Future Service of Process and Notice, Acceptance of Service and Affidavit of Service, Answer, Final Decree of Divorce (or Final Decree of Divorce with Child/Spousal Support).
Spouses with minor children will have to file the Sole/Shared Custody Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.