In Virginia there is no such thing as a formal legal separation. In other words, if you are in Virginia Beach and want a legal separation, there’s not a piece of paper that is given to you by the court that says that you are legally separated. Instead, you can be separated by:
- No longer holding yourselves out as husband and wife.
- By living separate and apart. Either under the same roof or in a separate residence.
- No longer taking meals together.
- No longer taking vacations.
- And telling some of your closest friends that you intend to end the marriage.
The reason why legal separation is important in Virginia is because you must be separated for a statutory period of time prior to seeking a divorce. If you have children, minor children, you must be separated for at least 12 months. During that timeframe, a separation agreement can be negotiated. If you do not have minor children and you are able to reach a settlement through the use of a separation agreement, then the statutory waiting period in order to get a divorce is only six months.
If you are thinking about getting separated, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to understand the specifics of how to be separated. How to ensure that you will meet the requirements that the court reviews when you are getting your divorce.
Related post: What is the separation agreement in Virginia.