Are you and your spouse considering getting a divorce in Virginia? If so, you may be wondering if you need to hire a lawyer. The answer is that it depends on the circumstances of your divorce. If you and your spouse come to an agreement on how to address the legal, financial, and practical details of ending your marriage, you can save money and time by filing for an uncontested divorce in Virginia. In this case, you may not need an attorney.
No court appearance is required for an uncontested divorce. The Law Office of Michael Ephraim can prepare the necessary documents for you and your spouse to sign and process all documents submitted to the court. Once the judge signs the divorce decree, the office will send you the divorce decree. If one party does not agree to the divorce or refuses to sign a separation agreement, the court will hold a hearing to determine the outcome of the divorce.
After one year has passed from the date of an act of cruelty, you can apply to the court to combine the divorce into a divorce from the bonds of marriage. The easiest way to proceed with an uncontested divorce is to get your spouse to agree to waive notification of the divorce documents. You or your spouse can file for a divorce at any time if you or your spouse meet the residency requirements and have valid reasons for the divorce. If you and your spouse already agree on these issues and want to proceed with a quick and affordable divorce, an uncontested divorce may be right for you.
Even if you are able to file for a contested divorce on your own, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel in order to protect your legal rights throughout the process. Virginia divorce laws require that at least one spouse has lived in the state for six months in order to file a “no-fault” divorce in VA. Uncontested divorces tend to be much less expensive and less time consuming than contested divorces. After all proceedings have been filed with the court, it usually takes 30-90 days for a divorce to be finalized. If you have reasons for desertion, you can file for a room and board divorce immediately after separation begins.
Once you have lived separately and apart for more than one year, desertion is sufficient grounds for a divorce from the bonds of marriage. In Virginia, there must be valid reasons for filing for a divorce and the party requesting it must demonstrate these reasons in court. Even if you can answer yes to all ten questions above, it is still recommended that you hire a Virginia divorce lawyer who can guide you through the process and ensure that all paperwork is properly filed.