In Virginia, you need to present evidence to the Court for the divorce. This can be done by an affidavit, deposition on the record or an ore tenus hearing before the Court. It might be beneficial to do an ore tenus hearing so that you can confirm that you have presented the Court with enough evidence to get the divorce.
Your soon-to-be ex-spouse does not need to attend, but you will need a corroborating witness who can attest to the facts in the Complaint.
The foregoing is not intended to be specific legal advice, but rather general information. Because of the nature of this online, non-confidential forum, and because each and every family law case is different, it is impossible for any attorney to consider all of the facts of your specific case and provide a concrete answer. If you require specific legal advice, you should retain a qualified attorney in your area.
I agree with the prior response. You may be getting the "uncomfortable" feeling from the Clerk because the judge in that county may prefer to handle these cases with written evidence (depositions, or affidavits, as described in the last answer) instead of holding an actual hearing. If you submit written evidence then you (and your witness) would not be required to actually appear before the court.
The information provided in this response is in the nature of general information and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship with anyone including the individual who posted the question. If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case, please contact Livesay & Myers, P.C., (540) 370-4140, www.livesaymyers.com.