Separation agreements in Virginia can provide a married couple wishing to part ways with a path to a no-fault divorce. However, these agreements should be entered into with care. Make sure to consult with an experienced Virginia separation agreement lawyer before you sign a separation agreement to make sure your rights are fully protected in the transaction.
Our experienced Virginia separation agreement attorneys offer a variety of services to help you execute a fair, legally-binding separation agreement. We explain what your rights are so that you are not shortchanged in the agreement. We advise you of the all the various terms that can be included in the separation agreement. We explain the separation process and provide you with support each step along the way. We assist with negotiating the terms of the separation agreement, including the distribution of marital assets, which spouse gets to live in the marital home, spousal support, child support, and child custody. We also provide drafting services to ensure the agreement is valid and enforceable.
Entering into a separation agreement is a life-changing decision, but our attorneys have extensive experience in this area, and we will provide you with the legal guidance you need to make sure you get it right.
How Separation Agreements Work in Virginia
2006 Code of Virginia § 20-91 provides that a couple can get a divorce “for cause,” meaning one party has done something that constitutes grounds for a divorce, like adultery, imprisonment, cruelty to a spouse, or abandonment.
However, Virginia also allows couples to get a “no-fault” divorce if they enter into a separation agreement and subsequently live apart from one another for six months (if the couple has no minor children), or for one year (if the couple does have minor children). The period of separation must be uninterrupted, meaning the parties do not reconcile during the separation period, and they each maintain a separate residence.
Once the required period of time for separation has elapsed after the separation agreement was made, the parties can apply with the court for an uncontested divorce. If the court determines that the period of separation was sufficient and that reconciliation of the parties is not possible, the court will grant the divorce.
While Virginia does not require that separation agreements be in writing, it is wise to capture the agreed-upon terms in a written document signed by both parties so that there are no later disputes about what was agreed upon initially.
Get Help from a Lawyer
The process of separating from your spouse can be a tense and emotional experience. Experienced attorneys understand the sensitive nature of these types of cases. The process can be very stressful, but a Virginia separation agreement attorney can take on some of that burden for you so that you can focus on starting your new life. With the help of a Virginia family law attorney, well-versed in this area, you will have confidence and peace of mind that your rights were protected and that you receive what you are entitled to through the agreement. Contact a Virginia Separation attorney today for a free initial consultation.