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Summary Judgement in a Divorce Case

Norfolk, VA |

I've heard that in the state of Virginia judges do not typically grant summary judgements in divorce cases. My question centers around asking for a summary judgement purtain to an allegation my spouse is making to contest our marital separation agreement. Are they instances where you can ask for a summary judgement pertain to specific issue/allegation or will judges just not entertain any motion for a summary judgement pertaining to any aspect of a divorce. The discovery process is complete, and now the facts are now not in dispute. My spouse has produced documents that refutes their allegation. Can this issue be decided via Summary Judgement so we won't have to deal with it at trial. They seem intent on going to trial dispute the odds against them. I just don't want to waste money.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Summary Judgment is appropriate when there are no factual disputes and the law permits a single result. IN a divorce, that is rarely, if ever, the case. IN fact, the only real issue would the issue of divorce itself, which is the one thing that is usually the simplest part of any divorce proceeding. But when it comes to support, custody, and equitable distribution, there is far too, much discretion that goes into the final outcome that it is impossible to have summary judgment. If you have a written agreement that the other party is now seeking to change, there is no issue of summary judgment because the judge is not required to adopt the agreement. In most cases they will, but they do so in the exercise for their discretion.


  2. There really is no summary judgment in divorce cases. If the facts are undisputable and they try to contest them unsuccessfully, then you might be awarded counsel fees after trial. Generally, marital separation agreements are incorporated into the final divorce, but it still is at the discretion of the Court.

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