Regardless of whether a person arrives at the important decision to pursue a divorce after years of martial counseling, months of introspection or only a few days of talking it over with family and friends, chances are good that they’ll want to proceed expeditiously.

While this desire to move forward as soon as possible makes perfect sense, it’s important for people to understand that they must satisfy certain requirements before a court will officially dissolve their marriage. 

In today’s post, the first in a series, we’ll start exploring some of these requirements, as well as some basic background information about the divorce process here in Virginia.

Are there any baseline requirements that a person must be able to satisfy in order to file for divorce?

The only real requirement for securing a divorce here in the Old Dominion State is that either you or your spouse have lived here for at least six months prior to filing for the divorce.

Are there really more than two types of divorce in Virginia?

Virginia does indeed recognize two types of divorce: absolute or final divorce, and “divorce from bed and board.”

The former is more than likely what you envision when you hear the term divorce, as it severs the bonds of matrimony and, once finalized, enables you to remarry.

The latter is a sort of qualified divorce in that while the spouses are legally separated and divorce-related issues (child custody, child support, property division, spousal support, etc.) are settled, they are not free to remarry.

Where does the divorce have to be filed?

In general, a divorce is filed in the Circuit Court located in the city or county in which the soon-to-be former couple last resided or the spouse from whom the divorce is sought (i.e., the defendant) currently resides.

We’ll continue this discussion in our next post, examining the concept of no-fault divorce.

If you have questions about the divorce process or would like to learn more about another family law issue, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can provide answers and pursue solutions.