A divorce can involve and affect some of the most important people in your life. It is vital that you understand the whole process and find a divorce attorney you can trust, who will safeguard a healthy future for you and your family. We believe in finding as fair and amicable of a resolution as possible. Virginia Beach divorce attorneys at McCormick & Calderón can help to protect the best interests of your family. Do you have pertinent questions that require immediate answers? Look to our list of frequently asked questions below and contact our office if you do not find the information you need.
What are grounds for divorce?
First, to file for divorce in Virginia, at least one spouse must have resided in Virginia for 6 months. In a no-fault divorce, it must be proven that each spouse has lived separately without cohabitation for more than 1 year. If both spouses have written a property or separation agreement and have no children from this marriage, then only 6 months of separation are necessary to file for divorce. Fault divorce means that one spouse has committed adultery, has a felony conviction with at least a year’s prison sentence, or has been a victim of cruelty, desertion, or abandonment.
What is desertion?
Desertion is when one spouse leaves the other spouse with the intent of ending the marriage, while the other spouse did nothing to warrant this act, and the deserting spouse left in spite of the wishes of the other spouse. If desertion can be proven, this could adversely affect the spouse who left, especially in relation to property division and the ordering of spousal and/or child support. There is no viable claim of desertion if there is a separation agreement, where both spouses agree to the separation.
There are circumstances where desertion is accepted. This is in cases of being told to leave, domestic violence, or if the other spouse is causing hazards to other’s health.
How long does a divorce take?
It depends on what the grounds of divorce are. If it is cruelty or desertion, it could take a year of physical separation to complete the divorce. If adultery is the basis of the divorce, then no amount of time has to pass. As soon as there is evidence, then the divorce can be enacted immediately once in court. Otherwise, a no-fault divorce requires six months to a year of separation. Only six months are required in situations when there are no minor children involved.
What evidence do I need for a divorce?
Usually, one needs the testimony of a third party witness. Desertion and cruelty bases for divorce require an independent witness whose testimony agrees with yours. As for cases of adultery, this often involves a private detective who can obtain evidence of “inclination and opportunity.” Inclination meaning such actions as displays of affection, and opportunity most often meaning a night spent with only the other person.
What is marital property?
Marital property includes the assets and liabilities acquired during marriage. Marital property includes the home, income, benefits, debts, and more. This is opposed to separate property. Separate property is what each spouse acquired prior to marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during marriage, and not from the other spouse. Separate property can turn into marital property, depending on how it was used during the marriage. Determining exactly what is separate and what is marital property can be extremely tricky. The services of a skilled divorce attorney would be invaluable for protecting your rights. Spouses will still keep their respective separate property in a divorce, but marital property (debts included) are divided upon divorce.
How does marital property get divided?
In Virginia, property division is supposed to equitable, or fair. This means that there may not necessarily be an equal split of all assets and debts from the marriage, only what is deemed to be a fair split. Only marital property is subject to division. A court may not be necessary to determine property division if spouses can reach an agreement.
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact McCormick & Calderón. When you need empathetic legal representation that can help you through this tough time, you can look to our Virginia Beach family law attorneys. We have decades of experience that we could put to work for you and your family. Call our firm today!