Separation Attorneys Serving Northern Virginia
In Virginia, there is no proceeding that grants one a "legal separation." Instead, the Court decides at the granting of the divorce, whether the parties were separated for the required period before obtaining a divorce.
In Virginia, if you have a signed Property Settlement Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement and no minor children, you can file for a divorce once six months have passed from your separation date. If you have minor children or if you do not have a signed Property Settlement Agreement, you cannot file for divorce until you have been separated from your spouse for a period in excess of one year.
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To establish a date of separation, one party has to have formed the permanent intention to separate and as of that date, the separation must continue without interruption and without cohabitation. There are a number of different ways to establish and maintain a "separation date" from your spouse. One can continue to reside in the same home but still be considered "separated" under Virginia law.
Our attorneys can help you figure out your separation date so that it meets the requirements per Virginia law and/or advise how you can establish a separation date. Our firm can also assist you with drafting and negotiating a Property Settlement Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement to avoid costly litigation.