Short of signing a prenuptial agreement, virtually no one plans ahead for the possibility of divorce. When you fell in love with your wife, you didn’t ask yourself how long you would continue feeling that way. Yet, it’s a certainty that a significant number of marriages in Virginia will end in divorce.
Despite being a state for lovers, Virginia is also one where people get divorced virtually every day. As you might anticipate, many of those divorces require experienced family lawyers, especially when there are custody and property issues to hammer out. Rarer still, you might find yourself in a situation where your wife has split, and you don’t know where she is. What then?
Just A Heads Up: Missing Wives Often Empty Accounts
When you got married, you likely opened joint banking, credit, and other financial accounts to which you and your wife have equal access. Unless those accounts require joint signatures for withdrawals, your money and finances are in danger. If your wife can access your money, she can certainly empty your accounts with virtually no legal recourse, as she would have legal access to every cent in accounts bearing her name.
Your wife might also apply for and receive new joint credit card and other accounts that have your name on them. This of course, could tear down your credit rating, while increasing your debt load. So long as you are married to her, you are liable for the financial turmoil she might create, and maybe even afterward.
Fortunately, you don’t have to just sit and take it. Here’s what you can do about it.
Getting A Single-Party Divorce
Virginia law does not require your wife to cooperate or even be present for you to divorce her. Whether or not your wife agrees, the Code of Virginia says the state will grant a divorce for adultery, sodomy, or buggery committed outside the marriage; or if your wife has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to at least a year in prison.
Divorces also are granted if your wife has abandoned you, treated you cruelly, or caused you to reasonably fear the likelihood of bodily harm. While domestic violence often carries the implication of a husband harming his wife, there are many instances in which the wife is the physically abusive one in the relationship, and that can work in your favor if you take the high road when dealing with a physically abusive wife.
The Commonwealth of Virginia may also grant you a divorce if you and your wife simply have not lived together or had sexual relations for at least a year and there are no minor children you and your wife might have had together. If you and your wife have a separation agreement, have not lived together for six months, and have not had sexual relations for six months, you also could get a divorce.
When Can You Get an Immediate Divorce?
There are two types of divorces in Virginia – those that are immediate and those requiring a waiting period. If your wife has abandoned you for at least a year without good cause, makes you to fear for your safety, cheats on you, or is sentenced to prison for at least a year, you can get an immediate divorce in Virginia. Don’t get too excited though. “Immediate” doesn’t mean tomorrow; the process can still take months or longer!
That means you will have to have proof of your claims, particularly if you are filing for divorce based upon adultery. The best way to do that is to hire an experienced law firm capable of legally obtaining the evidence you need to divorce your cheating wife. A skilled private detective should also have the legal training necessary to lawfully gather information that will hold up in divorce court and free you from your bad marriage.
Delayed Divorce Works, Too
When you don’t have proof necessary for an immediate divorce, you still can get a divorce without your wife’s cooperation in Virginia. To do that, you will need to file for divorce by way of a one-year separation period. So long as your wife has not moved back in and you have not had sex with her, you will likely get a no-fault divorce. Some courts will allow a divorce even if you are living under the same roof, but you’ll have to prove the decision was made for financial reasons only.
Divorce via Publication … Get it in Print!
If you have no idea where your wife is located and have tried to find her, you can file for a divorce by publication. That requires you to demonstrate the steps you took to locate her, and then publish a notice indicating the pending divorce. After the requisite period of time with no response by your wife, you can get a default judgment in your favor.
Let The Firm For Men Help
No matter the circumstances of your divorce, the assistance of experienced divorce attorneys, like those at The Firm for Men, ensures your legal rights are protected and you get the effective legal representation you deserve. The Firm For Men has been serving all of Hampton Roads for over a decade, from Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Portsmouth to Hampton, Newport News, and beyond. Call our office today at 757-383-9184 to schedule a family law consultation and let us help you plan your next move.