Determining a Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce

Posted on July 03, 2011 in Divorce, Family Law

In Virginia, couples face two options regarding the type of divorce sought. A divorce can be granted for fault reasons, such as adultery, cruelty or desertion. A “no-fault” divorce can be granted based upon a separation of the parties (one year if the couple have children under 18 years of age or six months if there are no minor children), and if parties have entered into a Property Settlement Agreement/Separation Agreement. A “fault” based divorce is significantly more time consuming and costly than a “no-fault” divorce proceeding.

Even if the parties have agreed on all of the issues regarding their marital assets, I do not recommend using the same attorney. Often a problem will arise in drafting a Property Settlement Agreement or in finalizing the divorce proceedings, and each party will need an attorney to represent his or her individual interests exclusively.