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Online divorce in Virginia

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Disclaimer: Online Divorce is not a law firm and its services, website and forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Online Divorce provides access to computer-aided self-help services at your specific direction. Online Divorce's website and written instructions provide general information about the divorce process only; we cannot give you any specific advice, opinions or recommendations as to your selection or completion of forms or your particular legal rights, remedies or options. OnlineDivorce.com is a website that provides access to self-guided online questionnaires. Online Divorce does not sell blank forms. You may be able to download blank forms from a government website depending on your state.

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by Jamie Kurtz

Jamie Kurtz has been a practicing divorce lawyer since 2008. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2007. Ms. Kurtz was selected to Rising Stars for 2013 - 2016, 2019 - 2020, a peer designation awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. She also co-founded a law firm that specializes in uncontested divorce cases.

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Online Divorce in Virginia

divorce in Virginia

For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of Virginia, online divorce is an easy, affordable, and fast solution to prepare legal forms. 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 for you. We help organize all the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed instructions on filing your divorce in Virginia.

Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to complete their divorce papers quickly and without stress.

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 can be a perfect option if you want to save money or hope to have your divorce finalized quickly to get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in Virginia is fast becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home.

So 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.

The process at OnlineDivorce.com 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.

Filing:

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, after getting the other spouse’s signature, the divorce forms may be filed at the local court.

In Virginia, the preferable county to file for divorce is where the parties last cohabited. Alternatively, the counties where either the petitioner or respondent resides can be used.

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 minor 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.

Residency:

Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency before filing for divorce. Virginia is no exception.

If you wish to file for divorce in Virginia, either 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 to have a valid and current Virginia driver’s license, ID card, or voter’s registration card issued at least six months before filing for divorce.

However, 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. They may be asked to complete a written declaration (affidavit) to serve as proof.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Virginia

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Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as for any divorce within the State of Virginia. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.

 

There are no-fault and fault-based 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, 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.

Fault-based grounds for divorce in the state of Virginia include:

 

  • Adultery;
  • Abandonment or willful desertion for one year;
  • Conviction of a felony which leads to imprisonment for at least one year;
  • Cruel behavior toward the other spouse.

OnlineDivorce reviews

Wesley H.

Wesley H., Missouri

I started my divorce on my own, spending loads of money on lawyer visits in the beginning. So I decided to google for other ways and using this site was so much more simple!

James V.

James V., Texas

I had a very successful business at the time. So, making sure I had the right forms was very very important during my divorce. I was so surprised at how easy and smooth this process was.

Chloe J.

Chloe J., Florida

After years of a tumultuous marriage, I finally decided that I needed to reclaim my life. I was looking for how to go about it and came across this site and they simplified and made the process of divorce easy for me. I never thought it would’ve been possible.

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Will S., Colorado

Stress-free and easy! I was initially gonna hire a lawyer but I found online divorce the next best option. No muss, no fuss divorce. No big legal words that I’d have to have read 10 times to understand!

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Marco P., California

California is expensive and divorce can be even more expensive in the end but I can say that this site payed everything out for me to follow, from child support to alimony. My ex agreed to go this way as well so it was a much less expensive option for us.

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Tamara B., Nevada

Because of the whole dissolution of the marriage, I was struggling with two children and just in limbo with my husband at the time because of child support and alimony. I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. I just want to say that this site helped me sort it out. Thank you.

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Theresa S., New York

I live in upstate NY and unfortunately one day I found myself in a situation for divorce. I was all out of whack, needed answers to take action. Enough was enough so I did it on this site. Everything was clear to understand, all forms and what to put in which box.

Livy B.

Livy B., Illinois

Onlinedivorce.com is the bomb! I mean, using it was so easy to follow. So, if you find yourself in this situation do your divorce here if possible. Documents for all stages, alimony, child support and all!

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Custody of the child in Virginia

Custody of the child

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.

However, 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 create other arrangements. In these cases, visitation (supervised or otherwise) may be deemed a better option to keep the child in contact with the 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 the 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 developmental needs of the child;
  • The displayed love and affection which exists between the child and each parent;
  • The mental, emotional, and physical health of children and parents;
  • The willingness of each parent to cooperate with another parent and support the child’s contact with them;
  • The role that each parent has played in the care of the child prior to divorce and will play in the future;
  • History of family abuse;
  • 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, Sections 124.1 to 124.4]

Rules for child support in Virginia

Either parent may be required to pay child support in the State of Virginia.


The state provides official child support guidelines, which are to be followed unless there is a reason to consider otherwise. Child support may be ordered to be paid by either parent or at times by both parents. This support would be based on the following factors:

  • Any independent financial resources of the child;
  • The standard of living the child experienced before the marriage was dissolved;
  • Physi­cal, emotional and other conditions and educational needs of the child;
  • The earning capacity that each parent has;
  • The age and overall health of the child;
  • The predetermined division of marital property;
  • The monetary or non-monetary contributions that each parent makes to the family’s well-being;
  • The ability of both parents to secure future education and training;
  • Income tax consequences of potential child support;
  • Exceptional medical, dental, or childcare expenses;
  • Any obligations, needs, and financial resources of the parents; and
  • Other relevant factors.

And these additional factors:

  • Support that needs to be given to other children or family members;
  • Custody arrangements;
  • Voluntary unemployment or underemployment, unless it is the custodial parent and childcare is a factor;
  • Debts which were incurred during the marriage to benefit the child;
  • Debts incurred with hopes of producing income;
  • Direct court-ordered payments for health insurance or education;
  • Any notable capital gains, which might include gains from the sale of the marital home. [Code of Virginia; Title 20, Chapter 6, Sec­tions 107.2, 108.1, and 108.2]

Uncontested Virginia divorce with children

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Rules for spousal support in Virginia

Rules for spousal support

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is sometimes ordered by the court to help one spouse live in a manner established during the marriage after the divorce. The couple can agree upon the need and amount of support together before filing, or the judge may award it in a contested case.

The court may award short-term or long-term alimony to either spouse in either lump-sum payments or monthly/yearly payments. Many factors are considered in the awarding of spousal support, a few of which are:

  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony has childcare requirements that make it difficult to seek employment;
  • The time and expense that is necessary to obtain education and training for the spouse to find a fulfilling job as well as that spouse’s earning capacity;
  • Length of the marriage;
  • Financial resources of the spouses as compared to each other;
  • Tax consequences for each spouse;
  • The current age of each spouse;
  • Physical, mental, and emotional states of the spouses;
  • Vocational skills and employability of the spouse who is seeking alimony;
  • Factors that contributed to divorce;
  • The contribution of each spouse to the well-being of the family;
  • The decided upon distribution of marital property;
  • Any existing legal obligations of the spouses;
  • The current employment and earning capacity of the parties;
  • The length of time both spouses have been absent from the job market;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Additional financial and other contribution to aid the training or education, career, or earning capacity of the other spouse;
  • Other factors the county court sees as just and equitable.

In Virginia, permanent maintenance will not be given to the spouse who is determined to be at fault in a divorce granted on the grounds of adultery unless denying support in this manner would be overall unjust. [Code of Virginia; Title 20, Chapter 6, Sections 107.1 and 108.1]

Property division in Virginia

Property division

When a couple chooses to divorce in Virginia, they must split their property in a fair and agreeable manner.

Virginia is considered to be an “equitable distribution” state. As such, the separate property of each spouse will be retained by the spouse who currently owns it. This separate property consists of:

  • Property which was acquired before the marriage;
  • Any direct gifts from third parties or inheritances;
  • Any increase in the value of above mentioned separate property unless there have been marital property or significant personal efforts that added to such increases;
  • Any property acquired as trade or in exchange for separate property.

The marital property will be divided equally by the court. It includes:

  • All property acquired as a couple during the marriage that does not qualify as separate property;
  • All property that is titled to both spouses;
  • Income or increase in the value of the separate property if the income or increase came about from personal efforts;
  • Separate property that is commingled with marital property and therefore cannot be clearly traced.

In some cases, the court may order payment from one spouse’s retirement benefits, personal injury award, profit-sharing benefits, or worker’s compensation to the other. The factors for dividing the marital property are:

  • The contribution that each spouse makes to the acquisition, care, and maintenance of this marital property;
  • The liquidity or non-liquidity of the property;
  • The amount of time the spouses were married;
  • The current age and wellness of the spouses;
  • Any potential tax consequences;
  • Any debts and liabilities, the basis for these debts and liabilities, and what property serves as security being held for such debts and liabilities;
  • How the property was acquired and by whom;
  • The reasons that led to the divorce;
  • Misuse of property, e.g., dissipation of funds;
  • The contributions, both monetary and non-monetary, of each spouse to the overall financial well-being of the family; and
  • Other factors, important for an equal split of finances between the spouses. [Code of Virginia; Title 20, Chapter 6, Section 107.3]

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Contested Divorce

Average prices start at $2000

Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.

  • Attorney availability impacts completion time
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Fully-guided, fast and affordable process. Experienced and reliable online divorce service using top-notch technology.

  • Ready-to-file divorce documents can be completed at your own pace with easy access for both spouses
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  • One flat fee (for both spouses) to access all completed documents for filing
  • Free revisions and free name change, no hidden fees
  • Detailed state-specific filing instructions
  • Review all and make changes from the comfort of your own home
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Other Online Divorce Services

Average prices start at $300

Other websites for filling out divorce documents use flawed software technologies to complete your divorce documentation.

  • Automated document preparation
  • Processing time varies but may take more than three business days
  • On-demand customer support, quality varies
  • One flat fee claimed, however many sites have hidden fees
  • No experience: many sites started operating just a few years ago

Mediation support in Virginia

A court may refer the spouses to mediation on its own motion or upon request of one of the parties. Dispute resolution sessions in Virginia are not mandatory but are preferable for the early resolution of conflict issues.

For those seeking to prepare their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. It can be the simplest way to ensure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.

Divorce forms in Virginia

Vermont forms produced by OnlineDivorce.com are court-approved divorce forms. We have automated filling out paperwork to simplify matters and avoid any difficulties that may occur with filling out paperwork alone. By utilizing OnlineDivorce.com, you can streamline the process of preparing divorce documents and help both parties move forward with their lives.

Divorce in Virginia online

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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

Using the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more, depending on the complexity of your case. Start by filling out the questionnaire. You can do it in one sitting or save your progress and complete it at a later date. Whatever is most convenient for you.

Once you’ve received the completed documents, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll receive more information regarding the finalization of the divorce case once the paperwork has been completed and submitted to the 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.

Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:

  • We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
  • We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
  • We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
  • We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
  • We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
  • We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.