In Virginia, divorce may be obtained where one party has been guilty of cruelty, caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willfully deserted or abandoned the other. In such a case, the innocent party may obtain divorce after one year.1 A party may obtain a divorce if and when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart without any cohabitation and without interruption for one year, or six months where the parties have entered into a separation agreement and have no minor children.2
Text of Statute(s)
Va. Code Ann. § 20-91 − Grounds for divorce from bond of matrimony; contents of decree.
Va. Code Ann. § 20-89.1 − Grounds for divorce from bond of matrimony; contents of decree.
Va. Code Ann. § 20-97 − Domicile and residential requirements for suits for annulment, affirmance, or divorce.
Virginia law requires parties in a divorce to file a Complaint for Divorce that alleges specific grounds upon which divorce may be granted under Section 20-9,3 along with other forms, including a completed VS-4 Form and a completed Domestic Case Coversheet. Some of these forms are available online.4
- 1. Va. Code Ann. § 20-91(A)(6).
- 2. Va. Code Ann. § 20-91(A)(9)(a).
- 3. For an example of a Complaint for Divorce in Virginia, you may consult the following resource on pro se divorce suits prepared by the Clerk of Fairfax County Circuit Court, http://www.fairfaxcounty. gov/courts/circuit/pdf/fba-h-53.pdf at 1−4 (last updated December 2015).
- 4. Virginia’s Judicial System, Forms, http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/home.html.