An uncontested divorce is a no-fault divorce in which both parties agree on terms.
The divorce is therefore not contested and does not need to go to court to determine property separation, child custody, and alimony. As a result, uncontested divorces are generally much less inexpensive than contested divorces, and the process is typically much faster.
How does an uncontested divorce in Virginia work? Here are the general steps you will need to take to secure your divorce in Virginia.
Before Starting: Meet the Requirements
Before getting started with your divorce, you must qualify for a divorce in Virginia. The requirements are as follows:
- At least one spouse must be a resident of Virginia and have been for six months.
- You cannot file for divorce on fault grounds in an uncontested divorce; you must file on no-fault grounds, which means no one party is responsible for the end of the marriage.
- You and your spouse must have lived separately for one year, or six months if you do not have children under the age of 18.
Step One: Come to a Settlement Agreement
To proceed with an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must come to a settlement agreement. You must agree on the terms of your divorce, including property, asset, and debt division, child custody (if applicable), and alimony. Without agreeing on all of these terms, the divorce cannot be considered uncontested.
Step Two: File Paperwork
The next step is filing paperwork for the divorce, also called a divorce complaint. You can file a divorce complaint or have the complaint accepted by written service before a notary. After that, the complaint would then be served and the affidavit signed and notarized by the plaintiff to confirm the terms of the complaint. You’ll then need to file these forms and pay a fee to have the court process the papers.
Step Three: The Final Order
In an uncontested divorce, the final order, which grants the divorce, must be signed, not notarized, by the defendant. The original signature on paper is needed, typically six to eight weeks after the process, and a judge reviews all the paperwork once it is filed. The judge will sign off on the divorce, and then it will be filed.
Need Assistance With Your Divorce?
Even if you have an uncontested divorce, it’s still essential to work with an attorney to ensure all the paperwork is filed correctly and to prevent delays in the process. In addition, a divorce attorney will advocate for your best interests and protect your rights during the process.
If you need assistance with your uncontested divorce in Virginia, contact Virginia Family Law Center, P.C., today to speak with an attorney.