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Common grounds for divorce in Virginia

The state of Virginia acknowledges two kinds of divorce. The first is divorce from bed and board, while the other is a divorce from the bond of matrimony. In this post, we will explain the differences and some of the typical reasons for each.

Divorce from bed and board is a partial kind of divorce where a couple becomes legally separated from each other. However, the couple is unable to marry anyone else.

A divorce from the bond of matrimony is a full and final divorce. Someone who has been issued a divorce from bed and board can request a judge to grant a divorce from the bond of matrimony after a year has passed.

Two common grounds for seeking a divorce from bed and board include willful desertion and abandonment, and cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. Willful desertion and abandonment means that one of the spouses has intentionally moved out of the couple's home for the purpose of ending the marriage.

If one spouse moves out because of the cruelty of the other, that spouse is not guilty of desertion. Cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm means that one or even both of the spouses may have committed acts that endanger the other's physical and mental health.

There are several typical reasons for a divorce from the bond of matrimony. The first is a separation or a "no fault" divorce. For this to be granted, a couple must show the court that the couple has lived separately for one year.

Another common reason is adultery. But, for one spouse to be awarded a divorce for this reason, he or she must provide conclusive evidence that their partner had a sexual relationship with another person.

Finally, a divorce can also be granted if one of the spouses has been sent to jail for at least one year. In addition, an incarcerated spouse may be treated disfavorably in the divorce as a result of their incarceration.

Divorce is complicated. Any Virginia resident who is considering seeking a divorce may want to speak with a divorce attorney to determine which grounds apply to their specific case.

Source:, "Divorce in Virginia," accessed on Oct. 26, 2015

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