According to Virginia Family Law, When Am I Actually Divorced?

If you are in the process of filing for a divorce in Virginia, you need to be aware of how Virginia family law can affect how long it takes for things to be finalized. Certain situations will determine how long it takes for your divorce to be finalized.

Filing for Divorce in Virginia

In Virginia, one cannot file a Complaint for divorce until grounds for divorce actually exist. Grounds for divorce is classified as fault and no fault. No fault means that neither party is being held responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. Divorces that fall under this classification include separation in excess of one year and separation in excess of six months (if you have a signed separation agreement and do not have children in common). Fault means that one or both parties are responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. Fault-based divorces include adultery, desertion, felony, and cruelty. Many fault-based divorces take longer to finalize because the guilty party may seek to challenge any or all accusations being made against them.

  • Divorces being granted on the grounds of adultery don’t have a waiting period. While a person can file for divorce based on adultery without waiting for a period of separation, the divorce being finalized will likely take between six months to over a year, if the divorce will be contested (i.e. all issues are not resolved by agreement).
  • Divorces being granted on the grounds of desertion, physical abuse or cruelty require that the parties be separated for a period of one year prior to a final divorce being granted, but can take substantially longer if the divorce will be contested.
  • Divorces involving legal separations require a one year period of physical separation before the divorce can be finalized. If there are no children involved and the parties have a signed separation agreement, then the physical separation period is reduced to six months before the courts can finalize the divorce.

There are other factors that can prolong the finalization process for divorces in Virginia, such as bickering, overcrowding of the courts, and delays in setting a trial date. The more amicable the parties are during the divorce proceedings, the faster their divorce will be finalized in accordance with the law. If one or both parties contest the divorce or argue over minor issues during the proceedings, the longer it will take for the courts to grant a divorce.

Although going through a divorce is never easy, it is in everyone’s interest to try and keep things cordial and in accordance with Virginia family law in order to facilitate the process.

The following two tabs change content below.

Matt Kurylo

Latest posts by Matt Kurylo (see all)

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Click here for full disclaimer or view our Privacy Policy

Main Offices:

910 Littlepage Street
Suite A
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Hours: M-Th 9a-5p, Fr 9a-1p

4085 Chain Bridge Road
Suite 300
Fairfax, VA 22030
Hours: M-Th 9a-5p, Fr 9a-1p

© Select Law Partners, PLLC. All rights reserved.