For a "no fault" or uncontested divorce, if there are no children from the marriage, you must be separated for a minimum of six months and have a written property settlement agreement before you may file for divorce. If there are children from the marriage, you must be separated a minimum of one year before you may file for divorce. If any child or children of the marriage is under the age of 18, both the husband and the wife must complete the Families in Transition FITS Program.
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In Virginia, you do not file a separation agreement with the court, unless you wish the court to approve it as part of the divorce proceeding. Choosing to go Pro Se "Pro se" means that a party to a lawsuit is representing himself or herself.
All persons involved in divorce cases are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney so that the legal proceedings and the effect of legal documents and orders can be fully explained to you. Furthermore, at trial the same rules will apply as if you had an attorney, and the Judge is not permitted to help you in presenting your case.
Virginia Marriage Laws and Termination of a Marriage
If you choose to represent yourself, you will be expected to follow the same procedures as an attorney. For information regarding filing for a divorce and help in preparing the necessary forms, visit valegalaid. NOTE: our staff cannot assist you with navigating this website nor are they able to give you legal advice. You may submit a copy of the proposed order, which will be indexed and scanned.
You should bring the original order to your court hearing, if you will have an Ore Tenus hearing. An original order that needs to be submitted to a judge for entry by the court can be submitted to the Clerk's Office, along with a cover letter with instructions to send it up to a judge for entry.
Virginia Divorce Laws
Outside of those who work in the legal field, the idea of going to court can be intimidating, to say the least. Many people fear speaking to a judge, or saying the wrong thing, or even just the logistics of knowing where to be and when. Getting a divorce is one of the more common reasons people might have in their lifetime for being in court, but many individuals in Virginia seeking a divorce wonder whether there is some way around the process of having to go to court to get the divorce, such as through an uncontested divorce.
You can indeed significantly limit the amount of time you need to spend in court with an uncontested divorce, but you may still need to go before a judge or commissioner at some point.
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That said, affordable help is available to prepare for this process. To obtain a divorce ending your marriage in Virginia, it will have to be approved by a judge. There are several matters that need to be addressed in your divorce before the judge will approve it, including:.
With an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will reach an agreement with each other on all of the applicable above issues, draft those terms up in a settlement agreement, and then submit that to the judge for his or her review and approval. By doing so, you do not have to go to court for a hearing on these issues.
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That said, to be clear, you may have to speak to a judge or a commissioner in some cases, if the parties request that option at least once to present the judge with the settlement agreement, among several other documents, for his or her approval. Judges want divorcing couples to be able to reach agreements on their own, so, assuming the agreement is fair and provides for the best interests of the children, such an agreement is likely to be approved.
Generally, if both parties are in agreement and cooperate fully in signing all necessary documents, no apperance in court in needed.