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The grounds for divorce in Virginia-Part II


Divorce can be a tumultuous experience for Virginia residents. Because the number of Virginia residents heading for divorce is reportedly seeing a sharp rise, divorce cases are often an issue that end up before the Virginia courts. Two types of divorce in Virginia can be obtained: divorce from bed and board and divorce from matrimonial bond. While the former is partial, the latter is complete.

While misconduct is often the grounds for divorce in Virginia, another legal reason that is becoming increasingly popular for divorce is "no-fault," in which spouses can divorce on the grounds that they have been living separately for a year. If there is a separation agreement and property settlement between spouses and the couple does not have minor children, the couple can divorce as soon as six months because a year of separation is not a mandatory requirement. Although this divorce is labeled "faultless," a judgmental act or reason may become the issue when alimony is sought or property division becomes a factor.

One other grounds for divorce in Virginia is adultery or buggery. Conclusive evidence of adultery must be found, but an eyewitness account is not required. If sodomy is stated as grounds for divorce, concrete evidence must prove that the act took place with someone outside marriage. Mere suspicion of sodomy cannot be used as grounds for divorce. Separation due to imprisonment is also grounds for divorce, but Virginia law requires that the spouse be jailed for more than a year before a divorce plea can be entered.

While a legal marriage is dissolved through divorce, a spousal union may be declared void through annulment. An annulment is granted under limited conditions or when a marriage is proven to have been entered under coercion.

Source: VSB.org, "Divorce in Virginia," Accessed on Nov.29, 2014

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