Uncontested Divorce in VirginiaDivorce
Divorce is not easy, especially when spouses are fighting in the courtroom. However, this process should not always turn into drama. In Virginia, there is a great way to quickly and easily end a marriage, and this is an uncontested divorce. It takes place if the exes are willing to cooperate and seek general solutions. Thanks to this, it is also possible to avoid significant costs in the process of marriage dissolution.
An uncontested divorce implies the absence of any controversial subjects between a husband and wife. The contested divorce is the complete opposite since the judge has to decide those things that the spouses cannot handle. That is why a contested divorce is usually time-consuming, and its price can be huge due to the services of lawyers. In case of an uncontested divorce, the spouses independently represent their interests before the judge; therefore, they do not need attorneys.
Another essential characteristic of the uncontested divorce is that both spouses must want to dissolve the marriage. As a result, the couple must sit down at the negotiating table and deal with their disputes. For uncontested divorce, it is crucial to have a Settlement Agreement, which contains the solution of all controversial issues, such as division of common property and debts, separation of custody of common children, consent to financial support for the child, parenting plan and visitation, medical insurance of the child, alimony and any other disagreements that may occur during a divorce.
Of course, getting an uncontested divorce is much faster than a contested one, which can drag on for years. An uncontested divorce in Virginia takes an average of six to eight weeks if counting from the time of the filing of the complaint until the final decision. Although it largely depends on the schedule of the judge and how faster the spouses can find a compromise.
You can file for divorce in Virginia, provided that the husband or wife is a bona fide resident of the state for at least six months before filing a lawsuit. And of course, the spouses must have legal grounds for divorce. Basically, in the event of uncontested dissolution, most couples prefer no-fault reasons. It means that the grounds for the divorce are that the husband and wife live separately and without cohabitation for one continuous year. If the couple does not have common children, the period is reduced to six months.
To start the divorce, you need to submit the relevant documents to the court. The main papers for a divorce in Virginia are:
- a copy of the marriage license;
- Bill of Complaint for Divorce;
- Answer to the Complaint;
- Acceptance / Waiver Form;
- Child Support Guidelines;
- the Final Divorce Decree;
- Vital Statistics Form VS-4;
But the papers may vary depending on the county, as well as the circumstances of the marriage. Before going to court, the plaintiff (the spouse who files for divorce) must fill out all the necessary forms. He or she can do it on his own by studying the instructions on the Virginia Courts website. Such a divorce is also called “Pro Se” and can be completed without a lawyer. But you need to be very careful because if you file incorrect papers, the court will reject them. When Pro Se divorce takes place, the spouse pays only a court fee of about $ 100.
Another way to get all the necessary documents is Online Divorce, and it is quite popular. The bottom line is that the plaintiff does not fill out the forms on his own, but simply answers questions about his marriage on the Online Divorce company’s website. Then the system selects and fills out all the necessary papers, after which sends completed forms to the client. The cost of such services reaches $ 300, depending on the company (excluding court fees).
And of course, the classic way to get papers is to contact a lawyer, giving him the necessary information about your marriage. It is worth noting that the attorney will not participate in the court sessions; he will only prepare all the necessary documents that are required by the court. The price depends on the attorney’s hourly rate, but on average uncontested divorce with a lawyer costs $ 500-800 (excluding court fees). Although a lawyer can help to make a settlement for an additional payment.
When the papers are ready, they need to be filed, and the defendant (the spouse who does not file for divorce) must receive copies of the case. When it’s done, the defendant must file an answer with the court. For this, he has 21 days. If the defendant agrees with all the provisions specified in the lawsuit, the court will set a date for the final hearing. All disagreements between husband and wife must be settled before this date. As well as a couple must file a settlement agreement. Based on this document, the judge decides on the dissolution of the marriage and signs a divorce decree.