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Do I Need Grounds For Divorce in Virginia?


Work and family pressures, health problems, and disagreements over money or other important issues can take a heavy toll on your relationship. In some cases, time apart from one another helps to gain some much needed perspective. In other situations, it makes it even more obvious that ending the marriage is inevitable. If you are considering filing for a divorce in Leesburg, you may be wondering about the level of personal detail you need to disclose in order to obtain a divorce decree. Our Leesburg divorce attorneys detail some of the common grounds for divorce in Virginia and how they are likely to apply in your case.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Leesburg?

A spouse is required to have grounds for divorce in Virginia prior to filing for divorce.  There are two main types of grounds, which are commonly referred to as either “No-Fault Grounds”, or “Fault Grounds.”

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No-Fault Grounds

A spouse can file for a “no-fault” divorce through the Loudoun County Circuit Court provided they have been separated for a year, or six months if they have no minor children and have a written and signed divorce agreement. While this may seem like an easier option than accusing your spouse of fault in Court, there are valid reasons to consider citing fault grounds. Misconduct on the part of your spouse can potentially impact your rights, in the following areas: .

  • Division of marital property and assets;
  • Spousal support and maintenance;
  • Child custody and child support;
  • Attorney’s fees.

Fault Grounds

A fault-based divorce is when a spouse asserts certain specific wrongdoing on the part of the other in their divorce petition. Under Section 20-91 of the Code of Virginia, there are four basic fault grounds that can be cited:

  1. Adultery: It is difficult to recover from acts of adultery that occur over the course of your marriage. Even if your spouse’s affair was an isolated event, it may take you years to regain trust in your relationship. Adultery is a common occurrence which can lead to the breakdown of a marriage.
  2. Criminal behavior: Having a spouse who is convicted of a felony criminal offense constitutes grounds for divorce in Virginia. Felony crimes typically include acts of assault, certain types of thefts, drug crimes, and vehicular homicide or attempted murder.
  3. Cruelty: Domestic abuse in Leesburg is an unfortunately common problem. If your spouse has physically or sexually assaulted you or if they have made threats that cause you to fear for your safety, you need to take steps to protect yourself and consider options in ending the marriage.
  4. Abandonment: When a spouse willfully abandons and deserts their partner,it is considered grounds for divorce under state law.

Let Us Help You Today

At the office of Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, we provide trusted legal guidance to assist you throughout the divorce process. Don’t hesitate to contact our Leesburg divorce attorneys and request a consultation today.


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