Grounds for Divorce

Grounds for Divorce in Northern Virginia

If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Virginia, you must be able to establish legal grounds before you can file for divorce and before the court will grant your divorce. In addition to grounds for divorce, there is usually an attendant waiting period before your divorce can be finalized. The reasoning behind the waiting period is to theoretically give spouses enough time to determine if divorce is the only option for their marriage.

What are the grounds for divorce in Virginia?

  • A talented Northern Virginia divorce attorney at our firm has the intimate knowledge of the law that you need in order to file under the correct grounds. There are several grounds for divorce in the State of Virginia, and our firm can assist you with filing for any of the following situations:
  • Separate and Apart for One Year: this is the most common grounds for divorce, and in order to qualify you must be separate and apart from your spouse for one year. This is commonly called a "no fault" divorce since there are no allegations of fault causing the dissolution of the marriage.
  • Separate and Apart for Six Months: this is another "no fault" divorce that can be used when there are no minor children—born or adopted—in the marriage and when the spouses have entered into a separation agreement. It is important to note the second requirement of a fully executed separation agreement. That means that even if you have no minor children, you would still have to wait the year if there is no agreement signed by the parties.
  • Adultery: in order to qualify as grounds for divorce, the adultery must have occurred within the past five years without a spouse's knowledge and consent and you must cease living with your spouse (and having sexual relations) after you learned of the adultery.
  • Conviction of a Felony: occurs when one spouse is convicted of a felony that resulted in incarceration in a state or federal penitentiary for at least one year.
  • Desertion: occurs when one spouse leaves home without good reason with no intent to return. The grounds for divorce arises at the time the deserting spouse leaves the marriage (and that is therefore when the other spouse canfile); however, if there are minor children, the divorce cannot be granted until one year after the parties have been separated.
  • Cruelty: occurs when one party has abused the other emotionally, mentally or physically. The grounds for divorce arises at the time of the acts of cruelty (and that is therefore when the other spouse canfile); however, if there are minor children, the divorce cannot be granted until one year after the parties have been separated.

North Virginia Divorce Lawyer

Call our experienced team of divorce attorneys at ShounBach to receive caring legal guidance regarding your divorce today! With more than 200 years of combined legal experience, we are confident that we have the insight to help you gather evidence to support your grounds for divorce. We stand up for the rights of our clients both in and out of the courtroom, and we will fight for a successful outcome in your divorce.

Contact a Northern Virginia divorce attorney for more information on filing for divorce.