If you are contemplating divorce or are already in litigation for divorce, you may have questions about the different type of divorces. It is advisable to consult a family law attorney to discuss the different types of divorce in Virginia and choose which option is best for your situation.
What is a “Contested” divorce?
In Virginia, a contested divorce proceeding exists when one of the spouses files a divorce action alleging that the other spouse was at “fault”—the types of “fault” are, simply stated, adultery, cruelty and abandonment. If your spouse has committed one of these actions then you may be entitled to pursue a divorce. A family law attorney at BoykoNapier can help you determine whether you have sufficient grounds to pursue a contested divorce, and whether doing so is in your best interest.
What is an “Uncontested” divorce?
In Virginia, an uncontested divorce is the common term for a divorce based on one-year of separation (or six months of separation if you and your spouse do not have children and have executed a separation and property settlement agreement). If you have been separated (as defined by Virginia law) for the statutory period of time, you can pursue a divorce from your spouse regardless of who may have been at fault for the initial separation.
What is a Divorce “A Vinculo Matrimonii”?
In Virginia, this is considered a “full divorce”. Subject to the terms of your divorce decree, you are no longer connected to your former spouse; you are free to get remarried and to live separate and apart. Read the statute for more information, including the grounds for a full divorce: Va. Code Section 20-91.
What is a Divorce “A Mensa Et Thoro”?
In Virginia, this is considered a “divorce from bed and board”. It is not a “full divorce” such that you cannot remarry and you will need to “merge” this divorce into a full divorce at an appropriate time in the future. Don’t worry, although this sounds complicated, these types of divorce are not very common and are only occasionally utilized when you pursue certain types of contested (fault-based) divorces. Here is the statute which specifies the grounds for divorce from bed and board: Va. Code Section 20-95. Contact a family law attorney at BoykoNapier to determine the best divorce option for you.
What does Division of “Marital Property” Mean?
In any Virginia divorce proceeding, unless the parties have an separation and property settlement agreement (a.k.a “PSA”) or have otherwise agreed to the distribution of their property, the Court will need to make a ruling that divides the property accumulated by the parties during the marriage. Read the statutory factors a Court will consider when deciding how to divide the property: Va. Code Section 20-107.3.
Generally speaking, “marital property” is property (tangible and intangible, real and personal) that the parties accumulated during the marriage and the Court will have the ability to order the distribution of the property incident to your divorce proceeding. This property can include real estate, bank accounts, cars, 401k and other retirement accounts.
If you would like to discuss your rights and options for divorce, please contact a family law attorney at BoykoNapier by phone at (804) 658-3418 or by email.