Posts Tagged ‘contested divorce’

Can my spouse refuse to get a divorce?

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Sometimes I have people come into the office and they tell me that they want a divorce, but their spouse refuses.  Sometimes it is because of religious beliefs and sometimes just because they like things the way they are.  Or sometimes it is because the other spouse doesn’t want to share any of the marital assets.  And sometimes it is because the other parent thinks that staying together until the children are out of the house will be better for the children.

Whatever the reason, this is one version of a contested divorce.

In the past, one spouse could refuse to get a divorce, but that is no longer the case.  If one spouse wants a divorce, it will happen…eventually.  But it won’t necessarily happen quickly or inexpensively.

I’ve often seen a divorce take over 4 years to be completed and include numerous court hearings and very large attorney bills.

If you want to get a divorce, and your spouse refuses, you really need to have an attorney.  This is not a case you can handle on your own.

If you have questions about this, or any other legal subject, please feel free to contact the office at 757-234-4650 to schedule a consultation with an attorney.

What is a ‘no fault’ divorce?

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

People sometimes get the terms ‘uncontested’ and ‘no fault’ confused when they talk about divorce.

An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree to all of the issues.  I wrote a blog post that goes into more detail here.

A ‘no fault’ divorce is one in which there are no other legal grounds for divorce.  In Virginia, this means that there has been no adultery, or cruelty (or those grounds cannot be proved).

This doesn’t mean that both spouses are angels and that the husband or wife has never done anything that has made the other spouse unhappy or angry or feeling that they could not stay married.  It just means that there are no sufficient and provable legal grounds for the divorce.

In other states it might be called ‘irreconcilable differences’.  I had one client tell me that there were irreconcilable differences in their marriage because he wanted a divorce and his wife didn’t.

In Virginia, you can file for a no fault divorce if you have been separated for a period of one year.  If there are no minor children and there is a written and signed separation agreement, this time frame can be reduced to six months.

The spouses can (and often do) still argue over the division of property, the division of debts, the payment of spousal support, issues regarding the children (custody, visitation and support) so a ‘no fault’ divorce is often not a simple matter at all.  Some no fault divorce cases can go on for years while the spouses fight over different issues.  As you can see, this is very different from an uncontested divorce!

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.