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Acceptable legal reasons for seeking a divorce decree

The commonwealth of Virginia acknowledges two kinds of ways to dissolve a marriage. The first is divorce from bed and board while the other is a divorce from the bond of matrimony. Divorce from bed and board is a partial kind of divorce where a couple becomes legally separated from each other but 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. However, there are several specific reasons for requesting each type of divorce. So here are some typical legal reasons for each of these types of divorce.

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. However, 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 in order 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.

A divorce can also be granted if one of the spouses has been sent to jail for at least one year. However, any Virginia resident who is considering ending their marriage may want to speak with a divorce attorney in order to determine which grounds apply to their specific case.

Source:, "Divorce in Virginia", Accessed Oct. 3, 2016

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