Legal Professionals of Hirsch & Ehlenberger

Does fault matter in a Virginia divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Divorce

No one plans on their marriage ending in divorce. Still, after weeks or months of struggling to make the relationship work, there comes a time when you need to move forward with the next step.

Investigating the divorce process can seem like a cumbersome undertaking. Depending on the type of divorce and your circumstances, there could take a while before your divorce is complete.

Here’s what you should know about the role fault plays in your divorce.

Do we need to separate?

Living separately before moving forward with a divorce can feel like an extra hurdle to overcome; however, it may be necessary depending on your situation. Courts tend to require a separation period so that couples have a chance to cool off and work out their differences.

In Virginia, choosing a no-fault divorce will mean that you and your spouse need to live separately for at least six months if you have minor children or one year if you do not. After the separation period, you can pursue a no-fault divorce.

Someone to blame

The only way to bypass the separation period is if there is fault. In Virginia, the potential grounds for fault in a divorce include:

  • Desertion
  • Abuse
  • Adultery

Keep in mind that depending on the reason for the divorce, you may need to present evidence that proves there was fault.

Next steps

You and your spouse spent your marriage building a life together, and pursuing a divorce means trying to divide one life back into two. As you move forward through the divorce steps, you and your spouse will need to negotiate property division and child custody.

These can be challenging and emotional subjects, so having an experienced professional advocate for your needs can be helpful.


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