When a couple is seeking a divorce in Virginia, it is important to understand that there are certain laws the Commonwealth has in place before it can be granted. Many states in the union grant people a divorce simply because they say they have “irreconcilable differences.” Virginia does not do that. There are fundamental requirements for a divorce in Virginia. These include adultery, a party being convicted of a felony, cruelty and willful desertion. Living separately can be a factor in being granted a divorce and it is important to know its details.

What if the couple has lived separately and wants a divorce?

Living separately is a justification to get a divorce, but the parties must have been doing so for at least one full year without interruption or cohabitation. If they have lived separately and had a separation agreement or they do not have a minor child, it can be granted after six months. The child can be the offspring of both, of either or have been adopted. When there has been res adjudicata (meaning the case has been settled in court) or recrimination (both sides making accusations against one another), there can still be a divorce based on living separately.

Dealing with divorce can be complicated and legal help may be critical

There are many reasons for a couple to decide that they can no longer remain together in a marriage. In the Commonwealth, simply saying that they are not getting along is insufficient. While an at-fault divorce is possible, it is also justifiable to get a divorce if the sides are living apart whether they have a separation agreement or not.

There are various aspects of the case that must be considered. If there are children, whether support must be paid, visitation and property division are all part of family law cases. For those who are considering a separation or who have already separated and do not have any of the other at-fault reasons to get a divorce, it is important to understand how long the separation must be in place before a divorce will be granted. With this or any other family law concern, calling an experienced firm can provide guidance and information with how to proceed.