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Permissible reasons for divorce in Virginia

If you feel like your marriage is falling apart, you might decide that it is time to explore divorce. One of the main concerns of people who are going to file for divorce is listing the cause of the divorce. You have a few different options for that when you file for divorce in Virginia.

Some people might find it interesting that there are two types of divorce in Virginia. Each type has different reasons for filing for divorce. One is the divorce from the bond of matrimony. The other is divorce from bed and board.

Divorce from the bond of matrimony is the traditional type of divorce. There are a few claims that can be made in this type of divorce. Buggery, sodomy and adultery are three of the permissible reasons for filing this type of divorce. With each of these, you would have to prove that your spouse committed an act that falls under one of these categories.

You can also file for a divorce from the bond of matrimony if your spouse is convicted of a felony. There are some stipulations to this filing. In order to file for a divorce based on a felony conviction, your spouse would have to serve an incarceration sentence of more than a year. You couldn't cohabitate with your spouse from the date you learn of the confinement.

If you and your spouse live apart for more than one year, you might have a claim for a no-fault divorce. If you don' t have any children together and can agree on a settlement, the time apart is cut in half, so you would only have to live apart for six months.

Divorce from bed and board is a little different. There has a to be a willful abandonment or desertion by one party of the marriage. This can't be an agreed upon separation. This type of divorce is also possible if there is a reasonable threat or endangerment of bodily harm.

Determining which type of divorce meets your needs can be complex. It is important to understand the basis of each one so you can make an informed decision.

Source:  Virginia State Bar, "Divorce in Virginia" Jul. 31, 2014

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