A no-fault divorce or uncontested divorce essentially means that both husband and wife are in agreement on the terms of the divorce. Another term would be “irreconcilable differences.” No-fault divorce is valid in all 50 states and couples may file their own free divorce forms and related papers without an attorney.
Divorce is the ending of a marriage ordered by a court. In Virginia, however, you could ask for two types of divorce: absolute and limited. When the court decrees (orders) an absolute divorce, it means that the divorce is permanent, permits remarriage, and terminates property claims. This is known as a "divorce a vinculo matrimonii" (meaning from the bonds of matrimony). When the court decrees a limited divorce, it means that the divorce is not permanent, does not permit remarriage, and does not terminate property claims (but the limited divorce may settle these claims); it serves only to legalize the separation and provide for support. This is known as a "divorce a mensa et thoro" (from bed and board). There is n0 such term as a legal separation in Virginia. You are not required to get a limited divorce before you can get an absolute divorce - there is a common misconception that you need a legal separation in order to get a divorce. This is not the case. Since divorce in Virginia is statutory, the law is located in The Virginia Annotated Code under Chapter 20.
Annulment establishes that your marital status never existed. The court will declare that you were never married. Because the courts rarely grant an annulment, you should think twice about using this route if you want to end your marriage. The court may look to, but is not limited to, the legitimacy of children and the preservation of the sanctity of marriage. Because of these consideration a court will look to granting a divorce instead of an annulment.
Limited divorces are usually based on either willful desertion or cruelty. Although any one of these grounds is enough for a limited divorce, a limited divorce will not completely terminate your marital status. In order to do so you must either seek an absolute divorce or an annulment.
In Virginia there are two types of annulment. In the first type the marriage is declared void ab initio, or from its inception, as though it had never existed. You do not legally have to go to court to have the marriage declared void ab initio, although it's a good idea to do so. In the case of an annulment, a marriage must be "totally void" in order for it to be considered annulled.
There are two characteristics of a "totally void" marriage:
Almost 1 million people each year file for divorce in the U.S. What most people do not realize is if they are in agreement with all aspects of the divorce, they can download free divorce forms online for any state. Filling out and filing your own divorce papers will save a considerable amount of money in legal fees, it is easier than you think.
The commentary uses the term as if it were synonymous with the child's end behaviors and assumes that divorce can therefore alter (or eliminate?) the "attachment style." In the original paper, I used the term to describe the predisposition to certain behaviors and how this can then determine the child's adjustment to either the strange situation procedure or divorce, which is a very different usage from that of the peer commentary. The second commentary by Hintz goes in depth about how attachment bonds are formed from the infant's first 6 weeks to about 2 years of age.
Whether you are considering filing for divorce, or have already been served with divorce papers, it is important to contact a divorce lawyer who can help you understand your rights, and explain the divorce process to you. Divorce involves the division of marital property and marital debts, and the restoration of nonmarital and premarital property. Depending on the length of the marriage, and the specific factors of each case, one spouse may be entitled to maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony. When the couple has children, the divorce proceedings will also include determining custody rights, establishing a parenting schedule, and setting child support. Divorce is more than just the end of a relationship, it involves a legal process, and it is important to work with an experienced family lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and you receive everything you are entitled to. There are many factors in every divorce, and the specific issues will be different between every couple. Understanding your case and how the law applies are key factors in minimizing litigation costs and achieving the best outcome. Contested divorces may be resolved through alternative dispute resolution, such as settlement negotiations or mediation, or by a Judge. The lawyers at Durrett & Kersting will work with you to provide individualized legal advice and representation throughout your case.
In Kentucky spousal support, often commonly known as "alimony", is referred to as "maintenance". Depending on the specific factors in a marriage, including the length of the marriage and the income of the spouses, one party may be entitled to maintenance. The Court will often consider the length of the marriage, the earning ability of each party, and marital misconduct as factors in determining the amount of maintenance a party is entitled to receive. Based on the specifics of a marriage, one spouse may be entitled to short term, long term, or lifetime maintenance. The Court may also consider inequity of income in deciding if one party is entitled to have the other party pay their attorney's fees. Contact your Louisville family lawyer today for a free consultation.
In an uncontested divorce it is important to understand that while the attorney is preparing all of the documents for both parties, the attorney only represents the interests of the Petitioner, and cannot give you legal advice. If you are the Respondent in an uncontested divorce, it is important that you have the documents reviewed by an experienced divorce lawyer. Contact us today for additional information.
Under Virginia Law, you have the right to represent yourself in all legal cases, including divorce.
The legal term for representing yourself is "pro se," pronounced "pro say") which is Latin for "on your own behalf." Representing yourself is not a good idea for everyone. It is important to understand that by representing yourself, you may be giving up important rights. It is very important for you to find out if your spouse has a pension, retirement account, insurance or other significant property before you decide whether to file your own divorce. If you do not ask for such things in the divorce, you will give them up forever.
Before you file for divorce on your own, you need to talk to your spouse, if possible, and find out how he/she feels about the divorce and about the issues mentioned above. This will give you an indication on how to proceed with the divorce.
The law limits the authority of the court to grant divorces (known as a question of jurisdiction-can this court hear this divorce?). The law also dictates when the court has jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding.
Within Virginia, the circuit courts have jurisdiction to hear divorce cases. Generally, the circuit court with jurisdiction for your case is the circuit court in the county where you live or the circuit court in the county where your spouse lives. When you file the relevant papers, you must have stated your grounds for that court to have jurisdiction. If not stated correctly, your spouse could file a motion to dismiss your case.
After you file your papers, your spouse has 21 days (if your spouse lives in Virginia), to respond to your request for divorce (known as a Complaint). If your spouse fails to respond, the court will proceed with the divorce so long as service of process has been completed correctly. If service wasn't obtained (although it usually is), Virginia law allows for "posting" the Subpoena and Complaint on the defendant's door if no one is home. Whether or not your spouse responds, you and your corroborative witness will have to appear before a Commissioner in Chancery who will conduct a hearing scheduled by the clerk of the Circuit Court. After your corroborative witness testifies and you have presented other evidence, and if your spouse answers or shows up, then your spouse will also have a chance to do the same. At the end of the hearing, the Commissioner will file a report with the clerk and notify you of the filing time. It could take two days to two years, but the normal time is 30 days. After the Commissioner's report is filed, mail your Final Decree (see Forms), to the Court Clerk and ask that it be sent to a judge for signing. The Judge should sign it within a few days.
Penalties for not abiding by the order can include imprisonment in some cases.
intestacy A term used when someone dies without making a will.
judicial separation A court order ending in a decree of judicial separation which enables the court to make orders about finances and other orders similar to divorce cases.
legal aid The old term for government help with legal fees based on financial eligibility and the merits of the case.