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What are the grounds for divorce in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2020 | Divorce |

To end your marriage through a divorce, Virginia Law requires that you meet certain requirements. If you can prove that your spouse is at fault, you can use that as grounds for divorce. However, the law also allows you to divorce through a no-fault process.

A no-fault divorce is easier to bring about than one that involves fault because you do not have to prove that the other person was in the wrong. Divorce in Virginia is available in the following situations.


This is the one no-fault option for divorce in Virginia. After you and your spouse have lived separately for a certain amount of time, you are eligible to file for divorce. For most couples, the amount of time that you must live separately is one year at a minimum. However, you may be able to file for divorce after only a six-month separation if you and your spouse have no children together and if you have entered into a separation agreement.

Cruelty or abandonment

If your spouse has abandoned you or treated you in a way that either caused bodily hurt or put you in reasonable fear of it, you have grounds for a fault divorce in Virginia. However, you still have to wait at least one year after the act of cruelty or abandonment before you can receive a divorce decree.

Felony conviction

If your spouse serves a sentence of imprisonment of more than one year for a conviction on felony charges, the confinement is grounds for a divorce. Should your ex-spouse receive a pardon, your divorce nevertheless remains final.


You can file for divorce from your spouse on the grounds that he or she had sexual relations with someone else outside your marriage.


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