It’s unfortunate when one or both spouses come to the conclusion that a divorce may be the best way to resolve their differences. When that time comes, it’s wise to consult with a divorce attorney that will aggressively pursue your interests, while also making the process as smooth as possible. Still, if you’re considering divorce in Virginia, it’s helpful to understand the different types of proceedings under state law. Here are the basics you need to know.
Divorce from Bed and Board:
This arrangement is essentially a legal separation, where both spouses live apart; neither can marry for lawful purposes. Under Virginia law, grounds for divorce from bed and board exists where:
- One spouse has willfully deserted or abandoned the other; or,
- There has been cruelty or fear of bodily harm from the other spouse.
Divorce from Bond of Matrimony:
This type of divorce involves a full dissolution of your marriage. It commonly follows a bed and board divorce, as either member of the couple can petition the court to merge the proceedings into a complete dissolution after one year. Grounds for a full divorce are:
- Sodomy; and,
- Conviction of a felony with more than 12-month imprisonment.
However, you can file for a divorce from bond of matrimony if you and your spouse have lived separately. Actually living apart, with the intent to do so, is required for this type of no-fault divorce.
Considerations for Either Type of Virginia Divorce:
Regardless of how you approach divorce in Virginia, you will need to think about your future going forward after your marriage is dissolved. If there are minor children, you’ll need to address financial support and custody issues. A court will always look at the best interests of minors when making determination on a child’s support and residence. In addition, it’s important to consider your financial future. An equitable division of marital assets, income, and debts is the intent of a divorce proceeding. However, things can get complicated when looking at marital property, separate assets, and mixtures of investments by both spouses.
An Attorney Will Protect Your Rights in a Divorce
A divorce is already stressful. Attempting to represent your own interests and fight for your legal rights only makes the process more distressing. The attorneys at Shannon & Associates, P.C. have the expertise to assist you throughout the proceedings, and the compassion to help you through these difficult times. Please contact or call us at (757) 228-5529 for more information on Virginia estate planning.