Dissolution of marriage is defined by Virginia state laws. Fairfax and other counties are going to be the same. The dissolution of a marriage is the severing of the legal relationship between two spouses. If you are considering divorce in Fairfax, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney.

Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a divorce case where the parties have resolved all issues that would be involved in a divorce case. That could mean property division, allocation of debt, support custody, and visitation. If all of those things are settled, a divorce is considered to be uncontested. Sometimes people think uncontested means that both parties want the divorce, but that is not the case.

A contested divorce is any divorce case in which there are one or more issues that have not been settled between the parties. It could be that both parties are finished with the marriage, but there may be a financial or a custody issue, for example, that had yet to be resolved and that would make that case considered a contested divorce case.

Common Causes of Filing Divorce

In Virginia, there is limited basis on which somebody can file a divorce. The grounds for divorce could be the parties have been separated for a required statutory period, adultery, cruelty, or desertion. These are all options for purposes of filing for divorce. The most common ground set is grounds for divorce based on a separation period. Sometimes people call it no-fault divorce, but that is not a legal term. Separation based grounds are the most common grounds cited in divorce cases in Fairfax County.

These are not cases in which one party is saying to the court, they want to be divorced because their spouse did something to end the marriage, but instead commonly, they would say to the court that they have been separated for the required period of time to be able to file for divorce and want a divorce because we have been separated.

Factors When Considering Divorce

If the case is litigated, meaning the parties are not able to settle and advance to trial, the divorce process in Fairfax typically takes between nine and 12 months. It is a longer time than a lot of people expect, so it is important for parties considering going through a divorce in Fairfax to realize it is going to take a little while.

The process in a court system is complicated and divorce is typically an extremely emotional process, so it can be difficult for both parties to set aside the emotions of the situation and look towards what is a fair and appropriate resolution of the case. Additionally, depending on how many components there are to a divorce, it can be complicated. Some divorces only have issues of property; some also have issues of support. Many divorces involve minor children, which mean there will be custody, visitation, and child support issues to be resolved, as well.

Consulting a Legal Team

People considering a divorce in Fairfax should work with a divorce lawyer for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that the legal proceedings and the process a person has to go through to get a divorce are complicated. Even if parties expect to be able to settle their case by agreement, it is important to have a Fairfax divorce lawyer to assist them through the procedural aspect of the case. In addition, it is very important for people to have an attorney to advise them about what their rights are, even if the parties are going to settle. It is important that they know what they may or may not be entitled to under Virginia law.