Typically, uncontested divorces take no longer than two or three months. Some divorces only last a few weeks. It depends on the judge’s availability and how quickly you and your spouse prepare and file the required paperwork.
Uncontested divorces are much simpler than contested divorces. Since you and your spouse agree on issues like property division, alimony, and other issues, going to court isn’t necessary. The judge will review the paperwork and sign the final divorce decree if everything is in order.
Virginia Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce
You must meet these requirements to file for an uncontested divorce:
- Residency requirement – At least one spouse must have lived in the state for six months or longer before divorce proceedings.
- Grounds requirement – You must state the grounds for the divorce. In Virginia, you can file for a fault or no-fault divorce. However, uncontested divorces require using no-fault grounds.
- Separation requirement – You can’t file for a no-fault divorce unless you and your spouse have resided apart and separately without sexual relations for at least six months if you don’t have minor children or one year if you do.
- Agreement on issues requirement – You and your spouse must decide on various issues before you can file for an uncontested divorce. Those issues include property division, debt division, alimony, child custody, and visitation.
Mediation is beneficial if you and your spouse can’t agree on certain aspects of the divorce. If you want to pursue an uncontested divorce, attending mediation is crucial.
You can meet with an unbiased third party to discuss your challenges. The mediator will listen to both parties’ goals and offer solutions to resolve the dispute. If mediation is successful, the mediator might prepare a document you can use to create a separation agreement.
Forms Required for an Uncontested Divorce
The required divorce forms depend on various factors, such as whether you share minor children. If you file for an uncontested divorce, you will likely need these forms:
- Divorce complaint – The complaint includes details regarding the divorce. You must sign it before filing.
- Domestic case cover sheet – The domestic case cover sheet contains basic information about the case, such as details about you and your spouse, the type of divorce you seek, and whether you retained attorneys.
- Affidavit of moving party in a divorce proceeding – You must sign an affidavit in front of a notary public confirming you meet the requirements for an uncontested divorce
- Make copies – Uncontested divorces don’t require following a formal process. You don’t have to serve your spouse with divorce papers. Instead, make a copy for your spouse to keep.
- Acceptance/waiver of service of process – Your spouse must sign an acceptance/waiver of service of process before a notary after you file the complaint. You can include the signed form with other paperwork you file with the court.
- Proposed divorce decree – You and your spouse must sign the proposed final divorce decree and submit it with a copy of your written separation agreement.
Typically, a judge reviews the completed paperwork in uncontested divorces and signs a final divorce decree. You might not have to attend a hearing before a judge. However, some judges schedule an oral hearing with both spouses before approving the proposed decree.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Beach Divorce Lawyer
Uncontested divorces are simple, efficient, and inexpensive. Avoiding contentious disputes and ugly courtroom battles can relieve some of each spouse’s emotional burdens.
At Anchor Legal Group, PLLC, we understand the importance of settling your divorce and moving forward with your life. You should call us at 757-529-0000 immediately for a consultation if you want to learn more about filing for an uncontested divorce.