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No fault divorce under fire in Virginia

The complexities of divorce hit full political stride in Virginia after Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, released an ad that slams the divorce-reform bill his Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli introduced in 2008 to amend the Code of Virginia relating to grounds for divorce and minor children.

The bill was designed to protect children from Virginia's no-fault divorce law in which it was amended that a divorce will not automatically be granted after a couple with children has lived apart for one year, and one of the parents does not want a divorce.

Under the bill proposed by Cuccinelli, who was a state senator at the time, it stated that a husband or wife who did not want a divorce had the power of objection, and could file against a divorce for marriages with children that begun after July 1, 2008. With this in place divorce would again become a bilateral decision instead of leaving it as a decision of only one spouse. As it is now with no-fault divorce laws, the person who does not want a divorce has no choice if his or her spouse does want one.

The bill's original intent was to slow down the divorce process mostly for the protection of the children, introducing the hope that couples might work out their differences, while giving added protection to a spouse who did not want a divorce from having the government force one upon him or her nonetheless.

At the same time, proponents of McAuliffe's action have deemed the potentially new law to be a panacea for increased decision-making freedom for those who find themselves in difficult and painful relationships.

A divorce in a no-fault state can have a particular set of laws you might not be familiar with. To combat these complexities, obtain expert legal help in this area before you proceed with a dissolution of your marriage.

Source:  The Washington Times, "CROUSE: No-fault divorce hits children hardest" Janice Shaw Crouse, Sep. 17, 2013

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