How to file an uncontested divorce in Virginia
While divorce is neither an easy nor pleasant process for anyone, it does not have to be contentious or melodramatic. An uncontested divorce provides couples with a more amicable way in which to file for divorce. Spouses can arrive at an agreement concerning all issues that arise in their divorce, and avert the stress that is often an integral part of going to trial in front of a judge.
Couples who have children, as well as those who do not, can get an uncontested divorce in Virginia. Such divorces are usually less costly and proceed more quickly than contested divorces. In addition, they are accessible to spouses who can resolve the problems of their divorce together.
If spouses can reach an agreement regarding all issues in the divorce, including child custody, visitation and child support, then divorcing spouses can expedite the process by obtaining an uncontested divorce. However, if you cannot come to an agreement with your spouse regarding any significant issue in the divorce, then the divorce will be treated as contested, and you will be required to attend a trial in which a judge will make a decision about the issues in your divorce.
In order to obtain a divorce or legal separation in Virginia, one spouse has to be a resident and domiciliary of the commonwealth for a minimum of six months prior to filing the complaint. If you are a member of the military, and are on duty in the commonwealth for a minimum of six months, you are considered to be a resident of Virginia.
You can file the divorce in:
- the county or city in which the spouses most recently lived together or
- at the choice of the plaintiff, in (a) the county or city in which the defendant lives or (b) the county or city in which the plaintiff lives if the defendant does not reside in Virginia.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce, you should seek counsel from an experienced family law attorney.