Virginia’s divorce laws have several built-in requirements that slow down a divorce. However, there are a couple of ways to speed up the divorce process.
Understanding Requirements and Waiting Periods that Slow a Virginia Divorce
- Virginia Divorce Residency Requirement
For a Virginia court to hear a divorce case, one or both spouses must have lived in Virginia for at least six months. This requirement applies to everyone, including service members that are detailed to units that have a home base or home port in Virginia. If you just moved to Virginia, you must wait at least six months before filing for divorce.
- Virginia Divorce Waiting Period
Most cases require a one-year waiting period before the judge can finalize the divorce. But in some cases, petitioners can allege that there are grounds to allow divorce with only a six-month waiting period or no waiting period at all. Examples include:
- Adultery — no waiting period
- Conviction of a felony with a sentence of more than one year — no waiting period
- Living separately without kids — six months
- Living separately with kids — one year
- Cruelty, abandonment, desertion, or domestic assault — one year
If your grounds do not fall into one of the categories where the waiting period is waived, expect your Virginia divorce to take at least six months to one year, depending on the grounds that you cite.
These time periods set the minimum time that it will take to get a divorce in Virginia. A divorce could take substantially longer due to court scheduling and litigation delays.
The good news is you do have strategy options to shorten your divorce as much as possible.
How to Speed Up a Virginia Divorce
- Allege the Right Grounds Under Virginia Law.
Review the available grounds for divorce in Virginia and pick the one with the shortest waiting period that applies in your case. If you allege a reason that is not allowed under Virginia law, a judge will delay your divorce until you amend your divorce petition. If you allege a reason with a longer waiting period, the judge cannot grant the divorce until the waiting period is complete.
- File an Uncontested Divorce in Virginia.
An uncontested divorce is possible if you and your spouse have settled all the issues in the divorce. When you file a settlement agreement, the judge only needs to make sure the settlement complies with Virginia law. The judge does not need to adjudicate any of the issues. By not litigating the divorce, you will speed up the divorce considerably.
The issues you will need to settle in an uncontested divorce include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Property division
- Spousal support
An uncontested divorce will not bypass the waiting periods. However, if you don’t have any children from the marriage and have correctly executed a separation agreement, it is possible to file for an uncontested divorce after waiting for only six months.
Using an Online Divorce Service Can Speed Up a Virginia Divorce
Using a reputable divorce service like DiPietro Law Group can also help speed up your divorce and save you thousands of dollars. Rather than having to wait for your paperwork to be completed, DiPietro Law Group simplifies the process by guiding you through basic questions about yourself, your family, and how you plan to divorce. Once you complete the information, you will have all the documents required to file in court and complete your divorce in Virginia.
Choose DiPietro Law Group Today
An uncontested divorce can be a low-cost and low-stress process that may take just a few months to complete. Contact DiPietro Law Group to learn how to file an uncontested divorce in Virginia and experience the fastest resolution of your divorce case.