Virginia has made divorce relatively straightforward. The Commonwealth wants to avoid forcing people to stay in unhappy or even abusive marriages. As a result, you can find the paperwork to file and complete divorce from many sources.
Here is some information about how to get divorce papers in Virginia.
Divorce Papers in Virginia
Divorces attempt resolve four primary issues:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Property division
- Spousal support or alimony
The papers you file to start a divorce in Virginia will give the court the information it needs to begin addressing these issues.
Papers Required for All Divorces in Virginia
Divorces can take many forms. You can allege fault or proceed with no-fault divorce. You or your spouse might contest some or all of the four issues or request an uncontested divorce.
Regardless of the type of divorce and the issues involved, you must include three forms with your divorce filing:
The complaint is the heart of the divorce filing. It sets out the jurisdictional basis for the divorce and explains to the judge which, if any, of the four issues you and your spouse have settled.
The complaint does not come from a form. You can find templates online for a Virginia divorce complaint. The Fairfax County Circuit Court also provides a packet of divorce forms that includes a template for a divorce complaint.
You might need to adjust these templates to fit your situation. For example, you should address whether you or your spouse serves in the military since different residency rules apply to service members who have spent time overseas.
Civil Cover Sheet
You must include a civil cover sheet with every lawsuit filed in Virginia courts. This cover sheet helps court clerks to identify the type of case filed.
The cover sheet also includes information about you, your spouse, and your attorneys, if you have them. This allows the judge assigned to the case to identify any potential conflicts of interest.
You can find the civil cover sheet for your local circuit court online or at the courthouse.
Statistical Information Form
Virginia’s Division of Vital Records requires all divorce cases to include a statistical information form. The division uses this form to update its marriage and divorce records after the case has ended.
You can get a current copy of the statistical information form from the court clerk when you file your divorce complaint.
Optional Affidavit for Divorce in Virginia
If you and your spouse have resolved the four issues described previously, you can request an uncontested divorce. You will file an affidavit with your divorce papers. This affidavit affirms that you and your spouse have a written settlement agreement. The affidavit also lays out the facts making you eligible for an uncontested, no-fault divorce.
In some counties, a judge can grant a divorce solely on the affidavit. In other counties, at least one spouse must appear in court and orally affirm everything in the affidavit. But in either case, the judge will grant the divorce without holding a divorce trial.
The affidavit is not a fill-in-the-blank form. However, you can find templates online for an affidavit. Make sure you tailor the template to your particular case before you sign it.
After Completing a Divorce in Virginia
After a judge signs your divorce decree, your divorce will be final. You can get a copy of your signed divorce decree from the court clerk.
To prepare the papers you need for a quick, easy uncontested divorce in Virginia, get started now with DiPietro Law Group.