We will also take the time to understand your situation to make sure that you qualify for a no-fault divorce and that there are no complicating factors. Your lawyer will then draft the settlement agreement or review it, if it is already prepared to make sure that it covers all relevant points and protects your interests. We help families facing divorce and other legal issues in Northern Virginia.
Virginia State Bar
Toll-Free: Live Chat Start Now. Prior to the entry of a final order of divorce, the court requires an independent witness to testify either by ore tenus testimony, deposition, or affidavit of his or her knowledge corroborating the separation. Fault-based grounds consist of adultery, cruelty, desertion also referred to as abandonment , and constructive desertion, or any combination of such.
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Unlike a no-fault complaint, which can only be filed after the requisite one-year or six-month separation period, a fault based complaint can be filed at any time; no waiting period is required. When filing on the grounds of adultery sexual relations with any person who is not his or her spouse ; sodomy anal or oral copulation with any person who is not his or her spouse , or buggery sex with animals—yes, this is actually a real grounds for divorce pursuant to section A 1 , such acts must be pled with specificity in order for the complaint to survive a potential demurrer.
The filing party should allege as much information surrounding the adultery as is known, including the name of the paramour and specific dates and locations where the acts of adultery occurred. A court can grant a divorce on the grounds of adultery at any point after the adulterous acts have occurred, but such must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, which often requires corroborating evidence from a private investigator or the admission or testimony of the paramour.
Under section A 6 , a court can grant a divorce on the grounds of cruelty or desertion no earlier than one year from the date of such act. Again, any complaint for divorce must allege these acts with specificity.
See Myers v. Myers , 83 Va. Haynor , Va. However, the Virginia Supreme Court has found cruelty to exist in exceptional cases of mental anguish and repeated humiliation.
See Ringgold v. Ringgold , Va.
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Desertion occurs where a party breaks off cohabitation without the consent of the other, so long as such desertion is not legally justified. See Brawand v.
Brawand , 1 Va.