People get divorced for many reasons. In most cases, divorces are usually granted without extensive litigation. However, certain circumstances can make a court reject a divorce petition in Virginia.
No-fault and fault-based divorce
In Virginia, a resident can file for a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce is one where the spouses have separated for a specific amount of time and have a legal separation agreement. However, a spouse can still contest a no-fault divorce filing. A fault-based divorce is one where the person filing for divorce claims and provides proof that their spouse participated in harmful behavior, such as abuse or adultery.
The divorce process
How long the process lasts and what steps are taken will depend on the type of divorce you are having and the particulars of your situation. Some of the important information you need to know include:
• Division of property is done under equitable distribution which means a fair but not necessarily equal split
• You and your spouse can negotiate a settlement out of court anytime during the process
• No-fault, uncontested divorce will usually be finalized in about two months
• Contested divorces can take many months, especially when they end up in court
Why a court might not grant your divorce
While most divorces will be granted, there is a provision in Virginia that can cause the court to reject the divorce petition. If you filed for a fault-based divorce, a court can reject the petition if the court perceives that you and your spouse lived together after you had knowledge that your spouse committed adultery, sodomy or buggery, the filing came 5 years after you knew of the behavior or you tricked your spouse into committing these behaviors.
Make sure you are organized and clear when you file for divorce. Gather all your evidence and be prepared to provide the court with the proof.