Uncontested Divorce, No Fault Divorce in Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know if I qualify for an Uncontested Divorce/No-Fault Divorce?
You and your spouse qualify for an uncontested divorce if the following requirements are met: You or your spouse has been a resident of the State of Virginia for at least the last 6 months before you file; You and your spouse agree to a divorce; and You have been separated for at least twelve months, or six months if you have a signed agreement and no minor children.
How do I get started?
Download the divorce package from our website and call or e-mail our firm to get started. We will begin by discussing your situation to determine if an uncontested divorce is the best way to proceed. You will complete the divorce package and sign the fee agreement. Once the completed divorce package and payment are received by our office, we can proceed very rapidly. If using e-mail and paying online, you may never have to come in until the depositions are scheduled or the court hearing is scheduled.
What if I don't know where my spouse lives?
If you have lost touch with your spouse and cannot find him/her, all is not lost. If you have some identifying information (such as a social security number) we are often able to find them using our special software. If the spouse is still not found, a divorce can be obtained by filing an order of publication and having a notice published in the newspaper. There is an additional fee for this service and you will also have to pay the cost of the newspaper publication prior to it being filed.
Will I need to go to Court?
For most uncontested divorces cases, no. You and your witness will complete and sign affidavits, which will be filed with the court. If your spouse signs a waiver or does not contest the case, his or her appearance will not be required as well.
Will I need a witness to get divorced?
Yes, Virginia law requires that grounds for divorce be corroborated by a third party who is not your spouse. For uncontested divorce cases, this is done by affidavits. The witness should be an adult friend or family member who knows both of the parties and should be able to corroborate that the parties have been separated for the appropriate statutory period.
Do I need a separation agreement or property settlement agreement?
The short answer is: it depends. Separation Agreements and Property Settlement Agreements are always a good idea for everyone's protection, even if there are few assets and a short duration marriage. However, they are not a requirement for divorce unless you have no minor children and are filing for divorce after being separated for six months or more. If you have minor children or have been separated for 12 months or more, there is no legal requirement for a property settlement agreement under Virginia law.
How do I get my name changed?
Our attorneys will submit an Order for Name Change along with your Court papers so that when the Judge signs the Final Decree for Divorce, your name can be changed as well.
Do I need to bring my marriage certificate?
Contrary to popular belief, not all courts require that a marriage certificate be shown in order to get divorced. However, some courts do. We ask that all clients provide the certificate to our office if they have the document readily available.
How long do I need to be separated?
For a no fault divorce, uncontested divorce in Virginia, if you have children, you must have been separated with the intent of remaining separated for twelve months or more. If you have no minor children, you can file for a no fault, uncontested divorce if you have to be separated for at least six months and you have a signed property settlement agreement.
How long will it take to be divorced?
Our process will not take very long at all. If the spouse is cooperative and returns the necessary paperwork in a timely fashion the whole process from start to finish can take as little as 30 to 60 days. I will add however, that once the paperwork is sent to the Court for entry, we are at the mercy of the Court's schedule and while they are often fast and efficient, they do experience times of backlog.
Will my spouse need to come to your office?
Not usually. If your spouse is agreeable to sign the waiver of service and notice of process, there is no need for them to appear. Through mail, e-mail and fax, most communications can take place as least intrusively as possible.
Do you take credit cards?
We are able to process all debit cards and major credit cards.
Do you take payment plans?
Yes. Although we request that you pay at least half of the attorney fee along with the court filing fee when you submit your paperwork, we will allow you to pay $49.99 of the attorney fee along with the court filing fee upfront, and make regular payments on the balance, with the understanding that the divorce will not be finalized until we have been paid in full.