All You Want to Know About Uncontested Divorce in Virginia
In the state of Virginia, not all divorces need to be traumatic. Some can be slick as a whistle. When both the spouses agree on all issues pertaining to support, property distribution, debt division, child custody, support, visitation, etc., and willing to split amicably, it becomes an uncontested divorce in Virginia. It relieves you from stress related to a split up and also saves you a lot of time, effort, and money. But can you file an uncontested divorce in Virginia without the help of a lawyer? Well, that is what is elaborated in the article. Read on to find out more.
Any dissolution – contested or uncontested – has to be approved by the judge. So, you still have to undergo a court proceeding to get your final decree. For many, stepping into a courtroom is taboo and for some, they simply do not want to take the trouble of going the grind. Of course, you cannot escape from walking into a courtroom but there are some ways to minimize your stay there. You may have to stand before the judge to get your decree at one point in time or another. Choosing uncontested divorce in Virginia can give you quick respite from the courtroom drama. For this, you may have to contact the best uncontested divorce lawyers in Virginia. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. has experience in handling uncontested divorce in VA and can help you get through the hurdle smoothly.
What does the state of Virginia say about uncontested divorce?
In separation if, one of the spouses files the petition and the other has to reply. This is called a contested form of dissolution and the court schedules hearings to settle the issues.
In uncontested divorce VA, before filing, the following issues have to be solved:
- Marital property partition
- Division of debts and assets
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Child visitation
- Child custody
The VA Code Ann. Section 20-97 seeks residency requirements of at least one of the spouses. It is stated either of the spouses should have lived in the state for a minimum of 6 months prior to the filing of dissolution. Uncontested divorce in Virginia is also called no-fault dissolution. This means that the couple jointly agree to separate and no one is at fault. The only criteria remain; the spouses have to live separately for a year proper to filing a petition. Those with no minor children or childless couples need to live separately for a minimum of 6 months as per VA Code Ann. Section 20-91(9)(a).
The couple has to submit the forms to the court for an uncontested divorce in Virginia. The person who initiates the paperwork is called the plaintiff and the other is called the defendant. The court holds the couple responsible for submission of all related documents in the right format to the concerned sections if you do not hire an uncontested divorce VA lawyer. In case, you fail to submit a document or file it in the wrong court, then your case may be dismissed by the judge and you have to start the process from the beginning.
The circuit courts in Virginia oversee the uncontested divorce trials. There are 31 judicial districts under the circuit courts and 120 separate circuit courts. You can find more than one circuit court in certain counties. The uncontested divorce has to be filed in the counties you live in Virginia. In case the spouses live in separate counties, then you can file in either of the locations.
If you want to avoid stepping into the courtroom, you can opt for an uncontested divorce in Virginia through an affidavit hearing. For this, you need the assistance of a reputed uncontested divorce lawyer in Virginia from the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C.
Online forms are available to file a petition for an uncontested divorce in Virginia. There are county-specific forms both online and offline. You can collect it from the court for paperwork. You have to pay a fee for the forms. There are different filing procedures in varied counties, so do not forget to check with your local uncontested divorce lawyer in Virginia. Some of the documents required for uncontested divorce Virginia submission include:
- Dissolution petition
- Identification information
- Either approval or waiver of service
- Specific agreements
- Request form for hearing or Affidavit hearing form
- Facts and findings
- Final decree
For those with minor children, the following forms have to be completed:
- Financial affidavit
- Parenting plan
- Child support
- Seminar attendance of parents
The paperwork is unique to each county, hence you need to check with your local uncontested divorce lawyers in Virginia. Experienced and skilled uncontested divorce lawyer in Virginia from the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C will help you with this.
How uncontested divorce Virginia is heard?
There are two ways uncontested divorce Virginia is heard, one is oral testimony before the judge in an open court or two when the recipient has failed to respond or appear or has signed a waiver or has signed a final decree.
What to bring for the hearing?
While appearing for the hearing, you are required to bring the following:
- The proposed final decree in original duly signed by both parties. The party entitled to the notice need not sign if the copy of the hearing and proposed decree is served.
- If you have not filed earlier, you should bring:
- The original separation agreement if applicable
- Confidential addendum for protected identifying information (You can download from the court’s website)
- Proof of service of complaint or waiver or both
- Original VS-Form duly completely
- In case of restoration of the former name, a typed order should be attached of the same.
- The witnesses and the moving party should appear for the hearing to give testimony in the court before the judge to authenticate the grounds for dissolution and relief sought, if any.
How to complete your uncontested divorce, Virginia?
In case of uncontested divorce in Virginia, you can simply do away with the court hearing and finish it in an affidavit hearing as per VA. Code Ann. Section 20-106 (F). The uncontested divorce in Virginia is quick and simple. The time length depends on how much time the judge takes to sign the decree. Once your spouse receives the paperwork and submits related documents, like forfeiting the right to contesting the petition, the hearing is scheduled. In case your spouse wishes to contest then the uncontested divorce Virginia process could take months together. Unless you get the decree from the judge your case is not over.
Uncontested divorce Virginia means you have to do it all by yourself. But do not worry, if you want help, it is available. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. offers the best support in expediting the process as our uncontested divorce lawyer in Virginia has resources to move things quickly without furthering your agony. You can put forth your queries online and our uncontested divorce lawyer Virginia will be glad to answer your doubts. The uncontested divorce lawyer Virginia will draft the legal documents and file them at the appropriate court. Once the filing is done, we will forward the documents and get the signature of your spouse. The documents will include duly signed affidavits and witnesses to substantiate the documents. The final decree is sent to the court along with related documents. Once the final decree is signed by the judge, the papers will be sent to you.
The process becomes simple with the help of uncontested divorce lawyer Virginia. Do not hesitate to call the law offices of SRIS, P.C.
The role of a lawyer in an uncontested divorce in Virginia
Many think the lawyer has no role to play in uncontested divorce Virginia. But the truth is different. The services of uncontested divorce lawyer Virginia are crucial in speeding up the process. In this case, the role of uncontested divorce lawyer Virginia is limited to filing papers and representing the client in the court.
The uncontested divorce lawyer will Virginia initiate the process by filing the petition in the family law court. The documents are verified and sent to the respondent. The notice is served and after receiving the documents, the recipient gives their response.
In an uncontested divorce in Virginia, the role of a lawyer is restricted to just discussion of the settlement, unlike in contested dissolution of marriage where litigations, hearings, and trials are involved.
Benefits of uncontested divorce in Virginia
Looking to separate with dignity? Then uncontested divorce in Virginia is the best option. There are many benefits of uncontested divorce Virginia. Some are listed herein:
- The uncontested divorce in Virginia is your chance to end a marriage peacefully. Uncontested divorce in Virginia comes at a lower cost as the job involved is simple and quick.
- The statements filed with the court are confidential and are not meant for disclosure. All the agreements between the couple to be separated are kept private and there is no need to make it public. The conditions, negotiations, and personal statements are meant to be between the couple and hence there is no scope for disclosing it. Since the conditions are not available to the public, it makes it easier for the couple to lower the friction between them and smoothen the uncontested divorce Virginia process.
- In an uncontested divorce in Virginia, the solution can be sorted out quickly. When both parties agree to the conditions there is no room for conflict. The marriage can end amicably. The conditions for terminating the marriage are drafted in the agreement and the couple can split without any ugly fights. Moreover, there is no need to wait for a court appearance making the uncontested divorce in Virginia all the easier.
- Uncontested divorce in Virginia is less stressful as all matters like alimony, child custody, support, visitation, property, and debt distribution are amicably settled. Moreover, in contested the conflict can get murkier with grounds like adultery, jail terms, abandonment, etc., involved. Uncontested divorce in Virginia can make the process less stressful. The uncontested divorce Virginia lawyers can assist the couple in the division of their assets and debts. The whole process remains fair and stress-free.
What are the demerits of uncontested divorce in Virginia?
In an uncontested divorce Virginia, the circumstances can be different for each couple. In case of extreme situations like emotional abuse, domestic violence, and a power struggle between the couple, it can lead to the unfair advantage of one over the other. For couples who are constantly in conflict cannot benefit from uncontested divorce Virginia.
Whatever may be the misunderstanding, there is always a way to get out of the mess with the help of able and experienced uncontested divorce Virginia lawyers. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. with experienced uncontested divorce Virginia lawyers having excellent communication skills and well-versed in Virginia codes is your right choice.
Uncontested divorce Virginia affidavit requirements
- When requirements for an uncontested divorce in Virginia are satisfied, there is no need to give notice to the opposite party and they proceed through an affidavit as mentioned in VA Section 20-106(A).
- The affidavit should satisfy the requirements of the court without any deviation. The affidavits are available online in PDF format and can be downloaded. You can avail the assistance of the reputed uncontested divorce Virginia lawyer at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C.
- The affidavits should be supported by relevant documents and will be reviewed by the clerk. If the requirements are not met then the Correction Form stating the reasons for rejection will be sent.
Dismissing uncontested divorce Virginia case
In some cases, the couple applying for an uncontested divorce in Virginia, reconcile and decide to live together. In such circumstances, the uncontested divorce in Virginia is canceled after the papers are filed. The request can be sorted from the county clerk before the judgment is entered. Suppose a no response is filed, the petitioner can file for dismissal, else if a response is filed, the couple must sign the dismissal form. The uncontested divorce Virginia petitioner can withdraw any time after filing the complaint before the final decree is issued by just filing a motion for dismissal without prejudice.
The filing motion differs from one state to another. Forms have to be filled and the court may request a letter requesting for withdrawal of the dissolution petition. The petitioner has to verify that there was no response from the other spouse. If the recipient of the petition has filed no documents but only notice of appearance, then the petition may be withdrawn unilaterally. In case a counterclaim is filed, the dissolution continues till the complainant withdraws the petition.
In places where forms are used for dismissal, the petitioner has to mention on the form that it is the action of all the parties. The petitioner has to indicate that the dismissal is with prejudice and cannot be reinstated. In case of without prejudice, the case is allowed to be reinstated at a later stage. Both the spouses have to sign the dismissal request form.
Moreover, the recipient spouse is not legally bound to disrupt the process. The recipient has the only option to either respond or defend them during the court proceedings. If the couple decides in unison to stop the dissolution then, the spouse who filed the petition has to request for dismissal legally.
The states have a waiting period between filing complaints and final decree. The waiting period gives scope for the couple to rethink their decision. The spouses within this period may withdraw their petition or file for revocation to dismiss the pending uncontested divorce Virginia proceedings.
The dismissal proceedings are as follows:
- The dismissal motion is prepared by the complainant and both the spouses sign the motion. It is the same as the dissolution of marriage Virginia petition with the name of the court, spouses’ names, and causes. The parties sign the motion for dismissal if they agree to it.
- The dismissal order is prepared by the plaintiff and the content is similar to the motion. The dismissal order indicates that the motion is received and it is either granted or set for hearing. The judge will sign and write the order date in the space allotted.
- You will have to wait for the court to return the order. If the recipient signs the dismissal motion, then the court will accept it and return the order duly signed. If the recipient rejects the motion then the judge will allow a new hearing of the motion.
- It is not mandatory for the couple to be present for the hearing. The reason for the dismissal petition has to be explained to the judge. The judge grants the motion, if the other party does not appear nor has no objection to the motion. The judge grants the motion and signs the dismissal order.
In case there is no form, you can ask for a format requesting a withdrawal petition. The letter includes the names and the case number. In this form, there is no need to state the reason for withdrawal. The letter is signed and dated. In most cases, there is no fee charged with dismissal motion but the petitioner may have to forfeit the fee paid for filing a dissolution of marriage in VA. If the defending spouse responds to the claim, then he/she has to submit a motion to dismiss.
It is always best to have an experienced lawyer to aid you and for this contact, the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. right away!