Divorce- How fast can it go?

In Virginia, divorce can be in theory achieved in a fairly short amount of time if you meet certain legal requirements. By statute, if a couple has lived separate and apart in excess of six months, and have entered into a property settlement agreement, and if they don’t have minor children under the age of 18,  they can file a Complaint for Divorce based on living separate and apart, or as it’s better known, the “no fault grounds.”

Once a no-fault Complaint is filed and the other party served, there exists a 21 day period of waiting for the other party to file a responsive pleading. If 21 days pass and no responsive pleading is made, the moving party can proceed to take affidavits of themselves and a witness corroborating the grounds and facts of the divorce. Once the affidavits are signed, they can be mailed into the court along with the final decree of divorce, and accompanying final documents.  All that’s left to do at that point is wait for the Judge assigned to the case to review the file and endorse the final decree of divorce, a process that depends largely on the court, time of year, and judicial docket. In general, most courts will turn the final decree around in about 6- 8 weeks from receipt.

How can you speed up the divorce process? Having an agreed upon list of terms for a property settlement agreement can expedite the beginning part of the process, before filing can even occur. If the other party is willing to waive service or notice (via a notarized form) the 21 day wait period can be eliminated. Finally, having a local and available witness in mind to sign the affidavits can help move along the final package of paperwork submitted to the courts.

If you have questions about a no-fault divorce, or moving along your own separation and eventual divorce, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@wmmlegal.com or 804-423-1382.