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Virginia Divorce and Family Law - Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a Virginia uncontested, "no-fault" divorce take?

Once you or your spouse have legal grounds for a Virginia "no-fault" divorce (Either a 6 month separation where the parties have a separation agreement and no minor children or a 12 month separation if you have minor children), then it can take as little as 3 to 6 weeks from the actual filing of the divorce to the actual receipt of a signed final divorce decree. This is assuming that all issues (assets, debts, custody, visitation, spousal support, child support, etc.) are settled in a settlement agreement and your spouse cooperates in the divorce process by signing a waiver.

How about a contested one?

As for contested divorces, if there is no settlement and the parties go all the way to a full and final trial, then it could take anywhere from 6 to 15 months.

What does a Virginia divorce cost?

As with most things in life, it varies. The cost is lower if the parties agree on all the important issues early in the process. It can be more expensive if it takes one or more court hearings to resolve the issues. Keep in mind, it's rarely the divorce that is so costly. It's resolving the issues in a divorce (custody, visitation, debts, assets, support, etc.) that can take up so much time ... yours and your attorney's. If you and your spouse don't resolve the issues, the court will.

What Virginia divorce information does an attorney need?

It takes a lot of information (financial and personal) for us to properly advise you on what your rights may be, what outcomes you may expect in court, and what you should "settle" for out of court. To begin the process, we will give you a questionnaire for you to complete as well as a list of documents to provide.

How should I start the process for a Virginia divorce?

Start with a consultation with a Virginia divorce attorney.

Can I do my own Virginia marital settlement agreement and divorce without lawyers?

You can. Some people cannot raise the money to pay for a lawyer. Keep in mind that the laws and court cases regarding Virginia divorce and divorce-related issues are voluminous and often very complex. If a website or someone else tells you that it's simple or easy, they are lying to you. A divorce is not a speeding ticket, so do not act without a divorce attorney unless you absolutely have no other choice. If you aren't able to pay a lawyer to handle your entire divorce, then pay one to help draft your settlement.

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