People often hear confusing or misleading information about divorce from others or the media. There’s the possibility that the source offers exaggerated or inaccurate information, but even accurate details won’t be helpful if the divorce occurred in another state. Every state has its own rules regarding the dissolution of a marriage.
The laws in Virginia regarding divorce are actually a bit more complex than those in other states. Most married adults have the option of pursuing a no-fault divorce based on claims of a major breakdown of the marital relationship. They don’t have to wait to file, and they don’t need to prove anything in court.
However, Virginia does not allow for straightforward no-fault divorces. You will either need to request a fault-based divorce or complete a full year of separation from your spouse to legally divorce. Whether you start living separately or file for a fault-based divorce, you may be acutely aware of your spouse’s opposition to the divorce. Can they prevent you from securing a divorce?
Your spouse can fight a fault-based filing
When you request a divorce based on specific legal grounds, like abusive behavior or abandonment, your spouse has the option of defending against those allegations in family court. If they convince the courts that the marital circumstances do not meet the standard necessary based on the grounds you claim, they could prevent the courts from granting the divorce.
If you separate and then file for divorce after a year of separation, only technical mistakes during the separation would give your spouse an opportunity to deny you the divorce. Even if they ignore the divorce paperwork when you serve them, you can move forward with default proceedings if they go weeks without responding.
How you pursue divorce determines your chances of success
Aiming for a fast divorce or placing all of the fault for the end of your marriage on your ex might lead to a tense battle in court. If you are not confident that you have convincing evidence of infidelity or cruelty during the marriage, then you may want to look into legal separation and your right to pursue a no-fault divorce.
Learning more about the grounds for divorce in Virginia can help you plan the most effective path forward.