Uncontested divorces are those cases in which no issues are in dispute. Usually, the couple will have signed a Property Settlement Agreement (which will be discussed in another post).
The parties must have lived “separate and apart, without interruption and without cohabitation” for at least twelve months if there is no written Property Settlement Agreement or if they have children under the age of eighteen. If there are no children under the age of eighteen, and there is a written Agreement, the separation period is six months.
An uncontested divorce can be filed in any Circuit Court in Virginia.
The divorce process is begun by one party (Plaintiff) filing a Complaint in the Circuit Court. After filing, the Clerk’s Office issues a Summons. The other party (Defendant) can sign a waiver form in which they agree that they do not need any further notice about the finalization of the divorce.
Following receipt of the waiver, Plaintiff and a corroborating witness sign notarized affidavits in a format acceptable to the Court. These affidavits are sent to the Court with a proposed Final Decree of Divorce and the other required documents. The Court reviews what is submitted, and the judge signs the Final Decree. The date that it is signed by the judge is the date that you are divorced. The Clerk will send a certified copy of the Final Decree by mail.
The certified copy should be retained with your important papers.
Since divorces have consequences, it is recommended that you employ an attorney to handle the process.