Virginia Divorce Laws

Unhappy as it may be, 44.6% of the marriages in the United States in 2019 filed for divorce; 44.9% in Virginia.  The top eight reasons given for divorce were lack of commitment (75%), infidelity (59.6%), too much arguing (57.7%), getting married too young (45.1%), financial problems (36.1%), substance abuse (34.6%), domestic violence (23.5%), and health problems (18.2%).  So, if your nuptials are in danger and you’ve tried everything to save them, what is the process for divorce in Virginia?

First thing to know is to file for divorce in Virginia at least one of the parties needs to be a Virginia resident for at least 6 months.  It is fine for one of the parties to relocate from another state and file, but the residency period doesn’t begin until they move their dominical to Virginia (i.e. change info with DMV).  Next thing to know is you and your spouse need to be separated for one year without any cohabitation.  If you spend one night together after 3 months of separation the one-year period begins again.  This period can be reduced to six months if both parties agree to a settlement agreement about the particulars of the divorce AND do not share any minor children.

Another thing to know is Virginia allows “no-fault” divorces.  What this means is one party does not need to show just cause for the divorce (or show that the other party did anything wrong).  Where the “fault” comes into question would be with the separation agreement, alimony or the separation of shared property.  Biggest factor when getting divorced is if you have minor children.  The child custody laws in Virginia are a must know as well as the child support guidelines and child support enforcement.

So, why would you need a private investigator if Virginia allows “no-fault” divorces?  Like we mentioned above, “fault” becomes a factor, possibly a big factor, in the separation agreement, alimony and the separation of shared property.  It also has a huge effect on child custody.  One factor that is currently big in Virginia is cohabitation with another party during the separation period.  If you or your spouse are disputing the divorce, alimony or separation agreement, and they cohabitate with another person during the separation period, this would cause “fault”.  This is where a P.I. can assist by conducting a Pattern-of-Life investigation and determine if there is another person in the home.

A recommendation we would make to anyone considering divorce, or beginning to think about the process, is to find a good divorce attorney.  Legal counsel is not essential but definitely helps in the process…especially if it is a “fault” divorce.  At Double G Protection & Investigation Firm, we are hired by both the client or their attorneys.  We have the ability to do 24/7/365 work and will deliver a detailed report of our findings and any evidence we discover during the investigation.  Contact us for a free consultation and we will work with you and your legal team.

Divorce Law
Child Custody