Divorce Lawyer Fairfax VA
In Virginia, a divorce can be granted on either fault or no-fault grounds. In a fault divorce the allegation is that one spouse’s wrongdoing has caused the divorce. Such allegations include adultery, cruelty, desertion, or conviction of a felony with confinement of one year or more. In a no-fault divorce the parties must be separated for six months or more if they have no children and have a separation agreement, or one year if they have children or do not have a separation agreement. Our attorneys can advise you of the positive and negative aspects of choosing to file a fault or no-fault divorce so that you can make the best decision possible for your particular situation.
Another major consideration in a divorce is whether to resolve your issues by agreement or through litigation. If you are able to come to an agreement your divorce can be filed after your six month separation has ended if you have no children, or after the one year separation has ended if you have children. You can then quickly obtain a Final Decree of Divorce after providing evidence in the form of ore tenus testimony in court or by deposition in your attorney’s office. The evidence required in a divorce by agreement is very basic demographic information. The entire process can take less than one month from the date of filing to the date of the divorce.
If your case must be litigated it is a longer and more complicated process. After the complaint for divorce is filed, the other party has 21 days to respond to each allegation in the complaint and possibly file a counter-complaint making their own allegations. The next step is the discovery process. This involves exchanging documents and information that allows each party to evaluate the other party’s position. Each party is also able to take depositions to gain more information in anticipation of the trial. The case would then proceed to trial where each party is able to testify and call witnesses on their behalf as well as present documents and other evidence. Once the judge has received all of the evidence, he or she will make a ruling regarding each issue that is in contention and grant the Final Decree of Divorce.