Wed May 22 2019

One requirement to get a divorce under Virginia family law that many people misunderstand is separation. Unless you are filing for divorce based on a fault ground, you must prove the following to a judge: (1) You have been living separate and apart physically for at least one year (or six months if you have no minor children), and (2) You have formed the mental intent to remain apart permanently and maintained that intent for at least one year. Living separate and apart from your spouse does not mean simply that you have separate bedrooms. If one spouse does not move from the house, you will need to prove that you did not act as husband and wife in any way during that six-month or year-long period. This means you and your spouse are not sharing meals together, running errands for one another, or socializing together, to name a few examples. You also will need a witness other than your spouse to corroborate that you have been living apart and that you have had the intent to divorce. During the requisite period that you and your spouse are living apart, our divorce lawyers can help you negotiate a settlement agreement for property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and other issues. Our lawyers also can assist you with temporary orders to address items like bill payments or freezing assets while you are living apart.