Legal Separation vs. Divorce

There are two types of divorce in Virginia, a divorce from bed and board a mensa et thoro and a divorce from the bonds of matrimony a vincula matrimonii. When a divorce from bed and board is granted, a husband and wife are legally separated from each other but are not permitted to remarry. When a divorce from the bonds of matrimony is granted, the divorce is complete and absolute. In Virginia, you must have a ground or grounds for divorce and the party seeking the divorce must prove the ground s to the Court. The grounds for a divorce from bed are: 1 willful desertion or abandonment, and 2 cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. The grounds for a divorce from the bonds of matrimony are: 1 living separate and apart for one year or six months where there are no children and the parties have entered into a Property Settlement Agreement , 2 adultery, sodomy, or buggery, 3 conviction of a felony, 4 willful desertion or abandonment after a one year period, and 5 cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm after one year from the date of the cruel acts.

Virginia Divorce

By Jennifer Paine. At first blush, it sounds like a good idea. No one wants to spend money divorcing needlessly, particularly when money is in short supply to begin with.

When can I date after a Virginia separation? For some women, dating after a separation or divorce is the furthest thing from their minds.

Will dating while my divorce is pending be a problem? This is probably one of the most common questions heard by divorce attorneys. The answer is not a definitive yes or no. While you are free to associate with whomever you choose, it could affect the outcome of the case. It is wise to hold off on the dating scene until after your divorce is final. Emotions are raw, and seeing someone else can reignite anger and spark revenge.

This could cause a host of problems, including:. This can negatively influence spousal support and the eventual property settlement of the marital estate. Dating during divorce will affect your life in the long run. In Virginia, you are married under the law until the divorce is final. That means that where fault is recognized in a divorce case, dating while your divorce is pending could be considered proof of adultery. Even if you and your spouse are separated, dating before your marriage is dissolved can be used to help prove marital misconduct during your marriage.

It can look like you have questionable morals, even if no misconduct occurred during the marriage.

5 Financial Benefits of a Legal Separation Agreement

After all, the separation date:. Here are your options for establishing a date of separation in a Virginia divorce. This grants you legal separation status as you move toward filing for divorce. Pendente lite relief establishes rules for:. The temporary solutions granted by pendente lite relief last until the final divorce trial, which takes place one year after it was filed i. Therefore, the best way to establish a date of separation is to sign a separation agreement or property settlement agreement with your spouse.

Action & Intention. To be legally separated, the state of Virginia does not require any paperwork nor is there anything filed with a Court to be considered “legally.

Under Virginia Law, you have the right to represent yourself in all legal cases, including divorce. The legal term for representing yourself is “pro se,” pronounced “pro say” which is Latin for “on your own behalf. It is important to understand that by representing yourself, you may be giving up important rights. It is very important for you to find out if your spouse has a pension, retirement account, insurance or other significant property before you decide whether to file your own divorce.

If you do not ask for such things in the divorce, you will give them up forever. This will give you an indication on how to proceed with the divorce.

How can dating impact your divorce?

In a Virginia divorce, there must always be grounds for divorce. In a “no-fault” divorce , those grounds are based on a period of separation. With minor children, couple seeking divorce must live separate and apart for one year. With no kids, 6 months is the rule. The required period of separation was intended, by the lawmakers, to mean that the husband and wife would actually live in separate residences.

However, they did not make that clear in the law.

Couples who wish to divorce at a later date (but are not in a hurry) can simply separate for a year. If they have a separation agreement in place, it controls the.

Disclaimer: This content is offered only as a public service and does not constitute legal advice. You should contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. What is legal separation? How long does legal separation last? Does New York have residency requirements for legal separation? What is a separation agreement? Do I ask the court for a separation agreement? What should my separation agreement say? What do I do after my separation agreement is written?

Is legal separation right for me? Legal separation is not right for me. What else can I do? I’m legally separated, but now I want a divorce.

Establishing a Date of Separation in Virginia

Meaning, divorcing couples in Virginia usually go from being married, to living apart with or without a separation agreement , to getting a divorce—with a court only getting involved at the divorce stage. It essentially requires two things: 1 physical separation with 2 at least one party having the intent that the separation will be permanent. Proving the date of separation is a factual determination, so the courts will need some sort of evidence to corroborate the date of separation.

Both a divorce and a legal separation legally create a space between you and your spouse. You live separately. Your finances are separated. Child custody, child.

WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender. Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. This section has basic information about divorce laws in Virginia. You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of state while a divorce is pending, on our general Divorce page.

To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page.

What does it mean to be legally separated in Virginia?

Often, clients who see me for an initial consultation arrive with information they may have learned from friends, family, or the internet — information which may not be accurate. The following are six common myths I have heard regarding separation and divorce, and the facts about each. Fact: Although some divorce cases end up in a final hearing before a judge, the vast majority of cases are resolved beforehand — even cases that start out being very contentious.

Someone has to make decisions on issues regarding children, support, and property. The people in the best position to make these decisions are the parties themselves, although many need help getting there.

If successful, a separation agreement is then drawn up by the mediator. agency and both parents of the date of enrollment and/or any reasons why they cannot.

Virginia Code. Virginia statutory law speaks generally of the criteria that a judge must consider when deciding an alimony case. A key fact is that there is no right or entitlement to spousal support in Virginia. Whether or not a spouse receives alimony is determined on a case-by-case basis. Whether the alimony question is determined by a judge, or by the parties themselves, the following issues will always need to be determined:.

Book a Consultation. However, over time, many of the courts Fairfax County in particular have come to rely on the pendente lite formula as a fair barometer of what the spousal support amount should be. Of course, this is dependent on whether the case merits an award of spousal support in the first place which is always a pivotal question.

Legal separation in va dating

Given the percentage of marriages that end in divorce, anyone could be affected in some way by a separation or divorce. Dissolving a marriage often involves property rights and financial matters, and can raise complicated legal problems, especially when children are involved. The Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar prepared this information to provide the public with basic answers to some of the fundamental legal questions concerning divorce and separation in Virginia.

If you can agree upon an amount, the payment dates, and the length of payments​, you may include it on your Separation Agreement for consideration. However.

Having a legal separation agreement is a financially beneficial step you can take if you are having marital problems and have decided to separate in a state that recognizes legal separation. Have an attorney draw up the legal separation agreement before both spouses sign it, and it should be smooth sailing from there if you and your spouse easily come to agreeable terms. Legal separation is an arrangement within a couple following a court order that allows them to remain married but live separately.

In some states, it is possible to draw up a separation agreement signed by both spouses that would be legal and binding. The bottom line is that you want a legal separation agreement that will protect you during a separation in case your spouse fails to live up to their obligations as outlined in the agreement.

The agreement will hold up in court should you have to go to court to have it enforced.

Don’t Lie on the Effective Date of Your Separation Agreement

Content Detail. This Child Support Calculator is free and has both online and mobile app versions available. Up-to-date with most recent changes to the law. Collaborative law is a new way to resolve family law disputes.

on their date of separation to expedite the process and divorce within months instead of waiting a full year, which is the requirement set by Virginia State Law.

A common question I get in relation to divorce is whether you can date while your divorce proceedings are pending. There are some states in the United States that allow for legal separation and for dating while your divorce is pending? Is Virginia one of those? Until you are formally divorced by a court order, Virginia law still considers you to be married. Virginia law also has adultery as a grounds of divorce.

If you date while your divorce is still pending, and the other side does not, that fact can be used against you in a number of different ways. The first is property distribution. Virginia is an equitable distribution state. If one of the parties is engaging in adultery, that can be used to obtain more assets. The second effect is child custody. Courts in Virginia are reluctant to grant primary custody to a parent who is dating and has that person around the kids.

Therefore, dating while a divorce is pending can impact custody. Finally, adultery is still an antiquated crime in Virginia.

Virginia Adultery Laws and Dating During Divorce Proceedings

Everyone knows adultery is wrong. Sadly, lots of marriages are over long before a final decree of divorce is signed. Many soon to be ex-spouses, in order to obtain a no-fault divorce, have split their belongings and are living separate and apart.

Do you need a legal separation before divorce in Virginia? No, because there is no state of being legally separated in Virginia. However as.

Once most couples make the decision to split, they want to expedite the process as quickly as possible. In order to speed up the divorce process , some couples will lie on their date of separation to expedite the process and divorce within months instead of waiting a full year, which is the requirement set by Virginia State Law for couples with children only 6 months for couples without children. Legal separation starts once the couple stops living together and one of them decides to end the marriage.

If a couple lives separately and then attempts a reconciliation a few months later, the clock resets on that date. Sometimes divorcing couples cannot immediately afford to live separately so their legal separation will begin when they stop sleeping in the same room and begins to live completely separately to include separating their finances.

There are several reasons why it is a bad idea to lie on the date of separation. Cooling Down P eriod. Many couples have a huge fight over the weekend and call me Monday morning claiming they are ready for a divorce.

Is it okay to date while your separated?