In Virginia, in the event of divorce, the courts follow the fair method of distribution of property. With an equitable distribution, the courts will distribute property “fairly” or equitably among the spouses, but not necessarily equally. In the event of divorce, a couple`s property is classified as matrimonial, separated or partially married and partially separated. Matrimonial property is common property and other property (other than separate property) acquired by separation from the date of marriage. Matrimonial property is fairly distributed during divorce proceedings. Separate property is all property acquired by a spouse before the marriage and property acquired during the marriage by inheritance or gift (with the exception of a gift by one of the spouses). Separated property is not divided by the court and instead remains in the hands of the spouse who acquired it. The courts will classify and divide all matrimonial debts equally in the same way as matrimonial property. The courts will consider a list of factors to determine how matrimonial property and debts should be divided. How can one live “separate and apart” to qualify for a no-fault divorce on one`s part without being found guilty of intentional desertion, which is a reason for divorce based on error? Virginia courts distinguish desertion from separation by taking into account the specific behavior of the parties. The courts have repeatedly concluded that a party who leaves the marital room or even the marital residence does not in itself demonstrate that a desertion has occurred. Instead, the determination of desertion requires that a party has ceased to perform its conjugal functions, which may include, but is not limited to, the provision of financial support or contribution to marriage bills or debts, as well as emotional or physical support. Virginia laws now provide for the “equitable” distribution of matrimonial property and marital debts between the parties at the end of the divorce.
“matrimonial property” means all co-owner property and all other property, with the exception of individual property acquired by one or both parties from the date of marriage until the date of final separation. “Separate Property” means property belonging to a party before the marriage, property acquired after the separation of the parties or inherited property and/or gifts to a party of a third party. If “matrimonial property” and “separate property” are mixed, or if the value of “separate property” is increased by the active efforts of one of the parties during the marriage, such property may be classified as “matrimonial property” or as “partially marital and partially separated”. In general, a debt is considered a “matrimonial debt” if it is in the common name of the parties and arose before the date of the last separation of the parties, or in the case of debts that are only in the name of one party, if the debt arose after the date of the marriage and before the date of the last separation of the parties. On the other hand, “separate debts” are debts contracted only in the name of a party before the marriage or after the date of the final separation of the parties. In determining whether a debt is conjugal or separate, the court may also consider the reason for the incurrence of a debt. The scope of separation agreements is limited to several ways that separating or dissolving parties should understand: sometimes marriages break down without any particular fault of either party. You can get a divorce in Virginia through no fault of your own if you live apart from your spouse for a year or if you live apart from your spouse for six months, if you have a separation agreement, and if you don`t have minor children. In Virginia, the person filing the divorce must have “reasons” for the divorce. Approved reasons for error in Virginia include: adultery, crime, cruelty, and desertion. Alternatively, a spouse can file for a “no-fault divorce” after separation.
While separation is a “flawless” reason for divorce, fault can still be an issue when spousal support is sought, or may be a factor in determining the division of matrimonial property. In addition, a judge is free to grant a divorce for fault, although there are “no grounds for guilt” for separation, conversely, a judge is free to grant a “no-fault divorce on his part”, even if there are reasons for fault. Separating from your spouse can be a difficult and emotional decision. This is not something you should take lightly, especially if you have children. We recommend working with a divorce attorney at Graham Law Firm, PLLC to help you take all the right steps to set a separation date in a Virginia divorce. We provide you with the expert legal advice you need to ensure your protection during this turning point in your life. Separation agreements offer a number of huge benefits for the separation or divorce of couples: If there is a fault in your separation case, but you do not want to divorce for moral or religious reasons, “separate maintenance” can be an effective way. This Virginia law gives the court the power to rule on child/spousal support and access rights. However, separate alimony does not allow the court to divide the property. Graham Law Firm`s personalized advice can help you decide if separate maintenance is the right option for you. If you need to create a separation agreement in Virginia, contact Graham Law Firm`s family law lawyers today.
Contact us online or call (703) 443-9360. Separation agreements are contracts that can be used to regulate all the rights, interests and obligations of the separated or divorced parties. In Virginia, separation agreements are commonly referred to as “matrimonial settlement agreements” or “property settlement agreements.” Sometimes separating spouses choose to stay under one roof or help their children for economic reasons. You can always set a separation date in a Virginia divorce if: A separation agreement defines how issues such as custody, child support, spousal support, and marital home are handled. It can be a temporary agreement until a judge can rule on these issues, or they can settle all the issues between you. The more you and your ex can agree on issues, the easier (and cheaper) your divorce will be. The document you need to prepare with the help of a lawyer remains legally binding until your formal divorce proceedings, which take place one year after the date of separation (if you have minor children) or six months (if you have no children). Because domestic relations laws are state-specific, you`ll find that legal separation (a court-approved agreement between a husband and wife detailing the duties and rights of each party) allows for legal separation in some states, with the court issuing temporary custody, visitation, and access orders. assistance and even the sharing of property. Nothing like this happens in the state of Virginia. So, before we get to the heart of the matter, talk to a lawyer to find out your options. Although Virginia law generally does not require separation agreements, spouses may choose to negotiate a separation agreement that resolves issues such as custody, custody of children, maintenance of the spouse, use of matrimonial property, and division of assets until a final divorce.
However, if you feel that your partner will later dispute this communication, you should have a written record showing your intention to end the marriage permanently. If you prove the date of separation, there is a statement of facts, and the court will see proof of the date of your separation. Any temporary relief ordered by the court will generally remain in effect until the last divorce hearing one year after the date of separation. To get a divorce in Virginia through no fault of your own, you must either be separated from your spouse for a year or, if you don`t have minor children, be separated from your spouse for six months with a separation agreement. However, you should note that Virginia does not have separation procedures through no fault of their own. There is a long-standing principle that people can make a contract as good or as bad as they want. This is especially true for separation agreements that can only be revoked in Virginia for limited reasons — if they were entered into under “undue influence” or if they are “unscrupulous.” Not sure how legal separation works in Virginia? Consult Graham Law Firm before starting the separation process to fully understand your rights and obligations. Call (703) 443-9360 to speak to our divorce lawyers in Virginia today.
The court may consider additional factors in determining the date of separation while they are still living together, for example. B if the couple`s friends and family know they are separated and if they share a bathroom and closet. If you are separated under the same roof and want to make sure the date of separation is clear, you should remember this in writing, .B. in an email to your spouse stating that you are separated and intend to remain separated permanently. The emotional strains in an unhappy marriage can make it difficult, if not impossible, for the average couple to coldly or objectively handle divorce and separation. .