Divorce papers in Virginia — filing for divorce in VA

Online divorce in Virginia

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How to get divorce in Virginia

Online Divorce provides qualitative and approved by Virginia courts divorce papers. The information below may help to understand more about the divorce in Virginia. onlinedivorce.com provides quick and inexpensive services of online divorce in Virginia.
The key conditions to get a divorce in Virginia are


The main condition for obtaining a divorce in Virginia should be the fact that the marriage is valid. In other words, the marriage was made without violating the rules of the state and is recognized by the law of Virginia.


The spouses must match the length of residency in the state of Virginia before applying for divorce in court.


The spouses must have reasons on the basis of which the spouse wants to formalize a divorce. They can be fault or no-fault. Fault grounds for divorce must be proven before the court.


If there are underage children or common property in marriage, then the spouses must decide who will be the main custodian of the child and how to divide the property. It is also worth discussing issues related to financial support for the child, his or her health insurance, the size and frequency of payment of alimony to one of the spouses, as well as any other issues that are relevant to the divorce.


The Virginia divorce papers must be filled out. Online Divorce offers the help with divorce paperwork preparation. We may do all the hard work regarding filling out the forms and provide the ready-made papers that, in their turn, need to be submitted to the court.


After the Virginia divorce papers been filed to the court, their copies should be served to the Respondent (the non-filing spouse). The certificate stating that the Respondent has been notified of the commencement of the divorce proceeding must be submitted to the court.


To get a divorce in Virginia, at least one of the spouses must reside in the state within 6 months before the application is filed. Servicemen meet the criteria of residence, if they were on the military base of the state for 6 months. Any serviceman who serves outside the US (regardless of how long he or she was outside the country) satisfies the residency conditions if he or she lived in the state of Virginia for 6 months before he or she had to leave the territory of United States.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Virginia

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A divorce in Virginia can be granted based on two main grounds: no-fault and fault. In the first case, the spouses must live separately for one year and without cohabitation and with a written agreement for separation. However, if the parties do not have underage children or not involved in any disputes regarding property division the period can be reduced to 6 months.

The fault grounds include:


If one of the spouse committed a crime while he or she was in a marriage, and was convicted for this and after that couple wasn’t leaving together with cohabitation;


Adultery, sodomy or buggery that was committed by one of the spouses after the marriage was registered after which couple wasn’t leaving together with cohabitation and it was happened no longer than 5 years before applying for divorce;


Violence or ill-treatment in the family or the spouses do not voluntarily live together and refuse from their marital obligations, which took place not earlier than one year before the filing of an application for divorce by the innocent party;

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Annulment of the marriage in Virginia

A kind of alternative to divorce in Virginia is an annulment of the marriage. Marriage can be canceled if it is considered void. In other words, the marriage was made with violations of the rules of the state of Virginia. An annulment can be used for such marriages in which one of the following conditions is met:

  • Bigamy,means that the current marriage was concluded before one of the spouses officially dissolved his previous marriage where wife or husband from previous marriage is still alive. That is, in fact one of the spouses has two marriages.
  • Marriage between parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, brother and sister and so on. Which means the marriage was registered between blood relatives.
  • If at least one of the parties did not reach the age of 18, the wife was not pregnant at the time of the marriage, and the couple had no other marriages before, and at the time of the marriage ceremony, the spouses did not have permission from the parents or the judicial representative to marry.
  • The marriage is also considered as invalid if one of the parties during the marriage ceremony could not independently give his or her consent because he or she had a serious mental illness.
  • If, prior to the marriage, one of the parties committed a serious crime and was convicted of this, the second party did not know about it.
  • If at the time of getting marriage the wife was pregnant from another man, and the husband did not know about it.
  • If at the time of getting marriage another woman was pregnant from the husband or gave birth to a child within 10 months after the marriage, and the wife did not know about it.
  • If one of the parties was engaged in prostitution before marriage, and the second party did not know about it.

The marriage can be canceled if the parties did not cohabit together after identifying the reasons for annulment. Also, a marriage can be submitted for annulment within 2 years after the reasons for annulment are revealed. Otherwise, the marriage is recognized as valid and then, instead of annulment the couple, will need to file for a standard divorce in Virginia.

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Custody of the child in Virginia

Custody of the child

When applying for a divorce in state of Virginia, one parent must be custodian of a minor child. The court can listen to the wishes of the child with whom he or she wants to stay, but this will not be decisive, since the court takes into account all the circumstances of the case and makes its decision on the basis of what is best for the child.

In some situations, the court can heal parents of custodial rights and appoint custody to the grandfather or grandmother, it is possible if the parents are declared absolutely unfit for raising a child.

The court may award joint custody or sole custody. To render a fair decision, a court may order a child to undergo a psychological and psychiatric test, and will also carefully consider the following factors:

  • The age and emotional state of the child;
  • The age, physical and psychological parameters of each parent;
  • The degree of participation of each parent in the life of the child;
  • Emotional attachment of the child to each of the parents;
  • The desire of each parent to take part in the life of the child;
  • The efforts that each parent makes to raise a child;
  • The presence of brothers and sisters in the life of the child;
  • The readiness of each parent not to interfere with the child's second parent;
  • The ability of parents to cooperate among themselves in making important decisions in the life of the child; 
  • The presence of facts of cruel behavior in the family or the manifestation of violence;

Rules for child support in Virginia

When calculating the financial support for the child, the court typically considers the needs of the child, incomes and expenses of each parent. Courts are guided by the Virginia child support guidelines, which are based on three components: the combined income of the parents, the number of children in the family who needs support, the time which each of the parents spends with the child.

Principles for supporting children also include the costs of child health insurance and expenses on his or her education. Payment of financial support to the child is carried out until he or she reaches the age of 19 years or until he or she graduates from high school, whichever comes first. If the child has a mental or physical illness that does not allow him or her to provide for themselves in the future, then financial support can be extended.

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Rules for spousal support in Virginia

Rules for spousal support

After the divorce in Virginia, the alimony may be assigned to one of the spouses, if he or she is unable to support himself. Alimony can be paid for a certain period of time, and always. The amount of financial support for the spouse is calculated on the basis of the needs of the needy spouse and the financial capabilities of the spouse-payer.

The following criteria are considered by the court when deciding on alimony:

  • Duration of marriage;
  • Education and professional skills of the parties;
  • The psychological, physical and emotional state of the spouses;
  • Opportunities for spouses to acquire additional professional skills;
  • Incomes, taxes and investments of spouses;

Property division in Virginia

Property division

Virginia is a state with rules of equitable distribution. This means that all the property that was acquired in the marriage will be divided in half. However, the personal gifts and inheritances of the one party are typically considered to be his/her separate property, which is not subject to division according to the law. The court must determine what property is common, what is personal, as well as its value and the amount of debt, with the exception of some pension benefits or interest on pension rates.

Divorce without a lawyer in Virginia

Cases, when a divorce is made without the participation of a lawyer, are called Pro Se Divorce, it is a Latin expression that translates as "on her or his own". A divorce without the participation of a lawyer is completely legal and is subject to execution in any state. If the spouses have come to the agreement of a division of property and custody of children, then it may be rather convenient to initiate the Pro Se Divorce.

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Contested Divorce
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Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney fees resulting in unpredictable expenditures. Overall lenghty and expensive way to go.
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Mediation support in Virginia

Virginia courts do not oblige couples to use the services of mediators, but there is an opportunity to voluntary ask for the help of a third party to resolve disputes regarding the certain divorce case.

Divorce forms in Virginia

The Virginia Court website does not provide all the necessary divorce forms online, but they are usually available in the local county courts.

Uncontested divorce in Virginia

Uncontested divorce in Virginia

One of the types of rapid divorce in Virginia is an uncontested divorce. Its essence lies in the fact that before filing Virginia divorce papers in court the spouses made a decision regarding custody of minor children, their financial support, as well as a fair division of property, and decision on the above-mentioned issues is prepared in written form.

For an uncontested divorce in Virginia, enough evidence will be the fact that between the spouses there are insurmountable contradictions and there is no way to get past relationships. 

How to serve divorce papers in Virginia

Law of the State of Virginia obliges the party that is applying for divorce to provide the second party copies of the completed divorce form documents. This is called serving a spouse. There are several official ways to do this. For example, to hand over the documents personally, or with the help of a local sheriff or the service of a professional serving.

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Filing fees for divorce in Virginia

Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.