O! How lucky we are to live in a world that gave us Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs singing their weird little pop song1, “Oh That’s Good, No That’s Bad.” In the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ (we’ll truncate them to StSatP — you’re welcome) song, every seemingly good thing turns out to be bad, while every bad thing leads to something good. Such is the conundrum faced by men seeking quick divorce in Virginia. You can divorce quickly, with no separation and waiting period. That’s good. No, that’s bad, once you find out the reasons why.
How to Get a Quick Divorce in Virginia
If you want to divorce your wife quickly, you have two ways sanctified by the Code of Virginia, but they are not exactly great reasons:
- For her act of adultery, or for sodomy or buggery outside of marriage
- For your wife’s conviction of a felony and court order to serve at least one year in “confinement”
Under Code of Virginia § 20-91, you “get” to divorce your wife right away if these two conditions exist. Whoopee. Adultery is incredibly hard to legally prove in court. And, to be blunt, if you married someone with a predilection for committing felonies, you may want to spend some time reflecting on your decision-making skills in general.
These two conditions are fault grounds, and they can be used to immediately effect a divorce. In the first case you must prove the adultery, sodomy or buggery (the latter two outside of marriage, mind you; Virginia lets you do whatever you want behind the bedroom door of your marital home so long as you do not harm children or disturb the neighbors). In the second case, Virginia does the footwork for you by locking up your wife in the pokey. Neither of these conditions require a separation before proceeding to a divorce.
Fault Grounds for Divorce
Other fault grounds — one spouse or the other is found to be at fault and causing the divorce — still require a waiting period. Under Code of Virginia § 20-91 you have to wait a year after your wife:
- Is guilty of cruelty
- Caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt (to you)
- Willfully deserted or abandoned you
- Forced you to leave due to her behavior (a “constructive desertion”)
We think most reasonable Virginia men would voluntarily leave — separate — a marriage under any of those conditions, but noting the date of the incident sets the clock for the one year countdown until you can file for divorce.
No Fault Grounds for Divorce
In other Virginia marriages, you both may simply realize you are no longer in love. You may pine wistfully for the early days of a great marriage, accompanied by the immortal StSatP groovy tune, “Love Me Like Before,” but you know it’s over.
In that case, you want a “no fault grounds” divorce, which begins not with “separation papers” but with a property settlement agreement. You both are on good terms; you speak to each other; you know how to divide your assets and debts. Your family law attorney and her family law attorney work in harmony to settle everything. Then you wait a year. Yes, a year, if you have children (only six months without children).
After a year of not bothering each other, living separate lives, and you playing the StSatP hit, “I Never Had No One” for the umpteenth time, your divorce attorney can file the complaint with a Virginia court and move swiftly to get you the divorce from the bond of matrimony (a vinculo matrimonii; go ahead, show off your Latin).
Legally Separating in Virginia
Virginia does not have any formal way to denote separation. The Code never mentions “legal separation,” and you cannot find forms in the courts for filing “separation papers.” This is why the property settlement agreement, also called the separation agreement, is so important. (And, we should note, the closest StSatP came to this is their ditty, “Take What You Can Get,” but the band was never acclaimed for its family law skills.)
The most legally supportable way to note the beginning of a separation period is through this property settlement agreement. Do not be fooled by the name; you can also use the agreement to outline arrangements for child custody, child support, child visitation and spousal support (though we would be aghast to view our children as property).
To expedite your divorce (which is really why you want to know about separation in the first place; be honest), turn the whole matter over to a trusted, local family law attorney for men. Think of it this way: how many property settlement agreements have you drawn up, and how many has your lawyer drawn up? See our point? Okay, do not just listen to us. StSatP said it best, with their primo hit, “Don’t Try It.”
Call the Only Family Law Firm in Virginia Representing Men Only
When you call 757-383-9184 to reach The Firm For Men, or you contact us online, we will answer any question you have about family law, from basics like separation to more complicated issues like visitation schedules and military divorce. We can even provide tips for avoiding the entire works of StSatP, if you wish.