Virginia Beach Divorce Attorney — Grounds for Divorce
Collaborative, mediation lawyers and litigators
The six grounds for divorce
The state of Virginia recognizes six grounds for divorce. An accurate assessment of what type of divorce is right for you requires an evaluation of the facts. A knowledgeable Virginia Beach divorce lawyer at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. can provide the guidance you need, fight to protect your rights and future, and give you valuable tips about surviving divorce.
Following is a brief summary of some rights and remedies associated with each of the six grounds for divorce in Virginia:
1. No-fault divorce with a one-year waiting period: Couples with children must complete a one-year period of physical separation that is uninterrupted by periods of cohabitation to get this type of no-fault divorce.
2. No-fault divorce with a six-month waiting period: Couples without children can expedite a divorce by signing a Separation Agreement (also known as a Property Settlement Agreement) and completing a six-month period of physical separation that is uninterrupted by periods of cohabitation.
3. Adultery, sodomy or buggery: If you have proof of infidelity or sexual deviance, you may have grounds for an immediate divorce without the waiting period. At sentencing, the cheating spouse may be denied access to spousal support unless a judge is convinced that such a denial would constitute a manifest injustice. Proof of adultery, sodomy or buggery can lead to the immediate termination of a marriage, without having to complete a one-year period of physical separation period. Talk to our divorce lawyers in Virginia Beach, VA for more detail. You should not begin a relationship, since the marriage is not over until the divorce is final. Our separation attorneys can explain more about this area of law.
4. Cruelty: A divorce based on cruelty requires evidence of escalating verbal threats and/or continuous acts of violence. Verbal taunts, emotional abuse, general rudeness or incivility alone may be insufficient to justify a divorce based on cruelty. Courts require proof of cruel and inhuman treatment that endangers a person’s life, limb or health. A one-year period of physical separation is required before an absolute divorce on the basis of cruelty, desertion or abandonment can be finalized, although a limited divorce — Virginia’s equivalent to a legal separation in other states — may be granted immediately. Talk to our Virginia Beach collaborative lawyers for more detail.
5. Desertion or abandonment: A divorce based on actual desertion occurs when one spouse leaves a marriage with the intent to never return, except perhaps to collect forgotten belongings. Grounds for divorce based on constructive desertion exist if your spouse is acting in a way that makes it clear that he or she is not invested in the marriage — such as declining to perform all marital duties, behaving abusively or refusing to move with you to another residence.
6. Felony conviction: If your spouse is convicted of a felony crime that carries a prison sentence of one year or more, you can get a divorce on these grounds so long as you do not resume cohabitation before the one-year term has passed.
Sound guidance for divorce-related matters
When you need advice about your case, there is no substitute for experience. The Stallings Law Group, P.C. are divorce lawyers serving Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads and Suffolk, VA. who provide detailed answers to your questions. Call us at 757-422-4700 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.