“Oh, you don’t have kids. The divorce should be easy then.” Verbiage like this gets tossed around often, but it’s not entirely true. While it is true that divorces not involving children don’t have the added factors of child custody, child support, or worry about how the decisions to divorce will impact your children, it’s not true that it means divorce is ever an easy road.
If both parties are in favor of divorce and are able to easily communicate about splitting up assets, the sale of any necessary properties, et cetera – the path can be less difficult. An uncontested divorce in Virginia means that both parties agree on the terms of their separation and have no major disagreements with the division of assets or debts.
In the case of an uncontested divorce, legal proceedings are minimal and the divorce can be settled in as little as a few months. Keep in mind that before filing for an uncontested divorce, both parties need to have written and settled agreements on:
- Sale or division of any real estate properties
- Division of assets – both liquid cash assets and tangible property
- Alimony or spousal support, if applicable
If you’re filing in Virginia, at least one spouse must also meet Virginia’s residency requirement (having lived in the state of Virginia for at least six months.)
In addition, when filing in Virginia for a non-contested divorce, you’ll also be seeking what the state of Virginia calls a no-fault divorce. This means that both spouses agree that neither are solely responsible for splitting, and that the parties lived separately for at least six months prior to filing for divorce (this timeframe increases to 12 months if there are minor children involved.)
So even in a situation where both parties are completely in agreement and the separation is amicable, there are still a number of agreements that need to be executed and protocols that need to be followed.
Unlike it’s counterpart, a contested divorce means that the spouses involved are not able to agree on one or more points – whether that be the division of real estate, other assets, or even attorney’s fees. Even if both spouses are in favor of a divorce, if they cannot agree on all points than the divorce cannot be filed as uncontested.
In this situation, couples can seek the help of a mediator in order to help them come to an agreement. Often, contested divorces occur because of a breakdown of communication between spouses. Professional mediation can help couples find neutral ground and reach mutual understanding in difficult situations.
Even once an agreement has been reached by both spouses, there are plenty of additional considerations couples need to take even when children aren’t involved. In most marriages, both spouses are often covered under the same health insurance plan – usually provided by one spouse’s employer. Most policies allow a grace period following a divorce for the removing spouse to find alternative healthcare arrangements, but you should be sure to check with your provider for exact details to prevent coverage from slipping through the cracks.
If you had a will during your marriage, either joint or individual, you’ll want to ensure you update your will immediately following the divorce to reflect any changes in your assets.
So divorce without kids – how simply is it, really? In reality, divorces are never simple, and enlisting the guidance of an experienced legal professional helps makes sure all your bases are covered.