Unlike some other states, Virginia does not have a quick and easy process through which you can file a “legal separation” with the Court. However, if you and your spouse are considering separating, you can enter into a written separation and property settlement agreement, (a.k.a. “PSA” or “Separation Agreement”), which will achieve a similar result. Most divorces are resolved through the drafting and signing of a separation agreement.
Richmond Divorce Lawyers:
A separation agreement should, in most instances, detail the agreeable resolution of all outstanding issues existing between the parties (including distribution of marital property and marital debts, child custody, support, even health insurance and tax issues).
Ultimately, the separation agreement will be made a part of the Final Decree of Divorce in Virginia. For this reason, you should be cautious in entering into an agreement that does not resolve all of your outstanding issues. You should also be cautious using internet forms, which may not comply with the statutory mandates regarding separation agreements; they might not cover all of the necessary issues and might not in fact be enforceable.
Reviewing Separation Agreements
If your spouse brings you an agreement to sign, it would be wise to consult with an attorney before signing the separation agreement. Though the separation agreement might look okay to you, there might be issues disclosed by legal jargon that could have a significant impact on your rights incident to the divorce and separation.
Don’t be deterred, however. A separation agreement is often the best way to resolve a divorce in Virginia. You will typically save a significant amount of money on attorney’s fees, the process will be more expedient and less emotional, and you usually don’t have to appear in court.
If you would like to discuss the drafting or review of a separation and property settlement agreement, please contact a Virginia divorce attorney at BoykoNapier by phone at (804) 658-3418 or by email.