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Grounds For Divorce in Virginia

Posted by attorney Mary Commander

Grounds For Divorce in Virginia

Virginia Code Sections 20-91 and 20-95

No Fault

The parties can be divorced on a "no fault" basis based on a one year separation or on a six month separation with a written Agreement if the parties have no children under the age of eighteen.

Fault

(1) For adultery; or for sodomy or buggery committed outside the marriage;

(2) Where either of the parties subsequent to the marriage has been convicted of a felony, sentenced to confinement for more than one year and confined for such felony subsequent to such conviction, and cohabitation has not been resumed after knowledge of such confinement (in which case no pardon granted to the party so sentenced shall restore such party to his or her conjugal rights);

(3) Where either party has been guilty of cruelty, caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willfully deserted or abandoned the other, such divorce may be decreed to the innocent party after a period of one year from the date of such act; or

Parties can be found to be guilty of "constructive desertion" even if they have not left the marital home if their conduct justifies such a finding by the court.

The vast majority of cases end up being granted on "no fault" grounds regardless of how they began.

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