General Questions

A variety of parties qualify for our divorce services such as:

  • Anyone who lives in a city, town, or county in Virginia.
  • Clients who are married to a Virginia resident.
  • Military personnel that are stationed in Virginia.
  • Spouses that are married to military personnel that are stationed in Virginia.
  • Virginia residents living or working abroad temporarily.
  • Virginia residents working in the Foreign Service.
  • Persons living outside of Virginia, in any other state or country, whose spouse is a resident of Virginia.
  • Persons living outside of Virginia, in any other state or country, whose spouse is on active duty in the U.S. military and stationed in Virginia.
  • Persons living outside of Virginia, in any other state or country, whose spouse is on active duty in the U.S. military and on a ship whose home port is located in Virginia.
  • Military personnel who are currently stationed overseas and were stationed in Virginia for at least six months prior to being stationed overseas
  • Spouses of military personnel who are currently stationed overseas and were stationed in Virginia for at least six months prior to being stationed overseas
  • Virginia residents who are temporarily living in another state or country, but plan to return to Virginia to live on a permanent basis.

Proceeding without an attorney may result in unknowing waiver/forfeiture/permanent loss of certain rights, such as the right to ask a court to award spousal support or the right to equitable distribution of marital assets. 

Yes, the court that we will file your divorce in does grant divorces based on separation within the same home. At a minimum that should include sleeping in separate bedrooms. Other indicia of separation could be: not eating meals together, not cooking meals for one another, not doing one another’s laundry, not going out socially as a couple, etc. For the court to grant you a divorce based on in-home separation, you and your spouse should be living completely separate lives and have as minimal contact as possible.

Place of marriage is not a factor in whether or not a divorce case can be filed in Virginia.  Even if your marriage took place in Virginia, in order to file a divorce in Virginia, either you or your spouse must currently be a Virginia resident or an active duty military member stationed in Virginia.

No, under the ethics rules, an attorney can only represent one spouse in a divorce. We cannot provide legal advice to your spouse. However, we can certainly coordinate with your spouse regarding the steps and mechanics of the divorce process. If your spouse contacts our office for legal advice, we will respectfully inform your spouse that we cannot provide your spouse legal advice and suggest that he/she consult with another attorney.

No, Virginia law does not require that your spouse be represented by an attorney.

If your spouse will be represented by an attorney for the uncontested divorce, it should be expected that the time frame for completion of the divorce will be longer than if your spouse was not represented by an attorney.

Yes, but we will ask that person to sign a document acknowledging that your case information is confidential, that we cannot provide case information to that person, and that he/she should ask you directly for case information.

We strongly prefer to communicate directly with our clients. If there is a compelling reason to have another person contacting the office on your behalf, we will need a written authorization signed by you before we can release any information pertaining to your case to that person. If you do sign such an authorization, we will still need to have substantial direct contact with you, the client, to ensure that you approve of all actions taken on your case.

Law Office Specifics

We can discuss your case with you by email, phone, through our online chat service, and in person.
Our office is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
We have many years of experience handling thousands of divorce cases.  We have streamlined the uncontested divorce process in order to expedite cases in which the parties agree on the terms of the divorce. Our law firm uses highly specialized software that allows us to prepare legal documents quickly and accurately.
We are able to offer lower fees due to our simplified and streamlined divorce process. Many other attorneys and law firms only handle a few divorce cases a year whereas our law firm is able to handle hundreds each year. We have been practicing divorce law since 1993, and we continue to refine our systems to make the divorce process easy and affordable for our clients.

The Legal Process

No, it’s not necessary to come into the office to start your case.  The best way to start is to fill out our intake form on this website. We will send you a reply with the information for your case, including the steps in the process, and the total cost for your case. Clients are always we

lcome to come into the office if desired. We recommend filling out the intake form prior to coming in, to make your visit more efficient/productive.

If you and your spouse are in agreement on the terms of your divorce, and your spouse wants to sign the divorce documents at the office, it’s fine for your spouse to come to the office. However, please bear in mind that we cannot provide legal advice to your spouse if your spouse asks.

Yes, but please call ahead to ensure that we have a notary in the office at the time your plan to arrive.

If you have an adequate separation agreement that meets minimum requirements, we can use that in your divorce. We will prepare all other documents. Generally, the documents purchased from a document preparation company are not accurate and won’t be accepted by the court.  Although state law applies to all Virginia courts, each court also has its own local rules which can impact the requirements for divorce documents. In other words, a document that may be accepted by one Virginia court may not be accepted by another. Even if a document meets the requirements of state law, it may not meet the additional requirements specified in the local rules of that court. For those reasons, documents purchased online from document prep services are frequently rejected by courts.

It is usually faster and easier to close that case and proceed with a new case. When a court notifies a pro se filer that there are errors in case documents, a motion is usually required to correct the errors. It is faster and less costly to start a new case and file accurate documents.   We will provide you with a simple motion to close the case that you filed.

No, if your spouse is agreeing to a divorce, there is no need to have your spouse served with the case documents. We will email you the documents for your spouse to sign, and we will ask you to forward/give those documents to your spouse. One of the documents your spouse signs is an Acceptance of Service/Waiver of Notice which specifies that he/she is accepting service voluntarily.

No, we will email documents to you to forward to your spouse. In the event that you ask our office to send documents directly to your spouse, we will send the documents by email or regular USPS mail. There is no benefit to sending documents to your spouse by certified mail. The proof that your spouse received the documents does not permit the process to move forward; your spouse’s signature is needed on the document in order to proceed with the next step.

A divorce can be filed in almost any circuit court in Virginia. Some courts are faster and easier to work with than other courts. We will file your divorce in the state court that will be the fastest for your case. Your divorce decree will include a provision transferring your case to your local court in the event that any issue arises in the future for which you need to seek a judge’s assistance.

No, a court appearance is not required. You will be signing an affidavit confirming some basic facts of the case. The affidavit takes the place of testifying in court.

No, it is not necessary for a deposition to be taken. The client signs a simple affidavit in front of a notary instead. Although depositions for an uncontested divorce were common many years ago, the easier alternative of signing affidavits renders depositions almost obsolete.

Separation Agreements

Yes, there are various names for the same document:

  • Separation Agreement
  • Separation and Property Settlement Agreement
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Mediated Settlement Agreement
  • Mediated Separation and Property Settlement Agreement
There are no legal requirements for what must be included in a separation agreement, but the document should address assets and debts, and it should establish a date of separation.
  • Division of assets- including house/condo/land/bank accounts/cars/life insurance/health/vision/dental insurance
  • Division of debts- credit cards/loans/school loans/personal loans/car loans/federal tax debt/state tax debt
  • Child support, custody, and visitation terms.
  • Spousal support
  • Division of retirement accounts

Yes, we can incorporate a separation agreement prepared by you that is signed by you and your spouse, with both signatures notarized.

No, the court does not require any original documents. Please email documents to our office. If you cannot email documents, please copy your original and mail our office a copy. Please do not send original documents to the office, instead safeguard your original documents.

We recommend that you and your spouse initial every page of the separation agreement and that every page is numbered, in order to avoid disputes as to whether any pages have been changed/substituted.

No, it is not required to have a witness sign the separation agreement. 

Yes, we can use your separation agreement that is already signed and notarized. It can be incorporated into your divorce decree.

Yes, a separation agreement that was signed many years ago can still be incorporated into the divorce. If any changes are needed, our attorneys can prepare an addendum for you and your spouse to sign.

Yes, we can prepare an addendum to your signed separation agreement for you and your spouse to sign in front of a notary.

Yes, as long as the separation agreement meets basic requirements, we can use it for your divorce.

Yes. The fact that your separation agreement was prepared and/or signed in another state will not prevent it from being filed in a Virginia court.

No, it’s not necessary for you and your spouse to be together to sign the separation agreement.  One party can sign in front of a notary, then scan and email the document to the other spouse to print out and sign in front of a different notary. If you are signing online with an electronic notary, you and your spouse can sign at different times with different notaries.

No, we must file in court one document with both parties’ signatures notarized.  The court will not accept two copies with one party’s signature on each copy. As such, please sign your document in front of a notary, then scan/email the document with your notarized signature to your spouse to print out and sign in front of a notary.

If your separation agreement was incorporated into your divorce decree, the terms of the separation agreement are now court-ordered. Consult with an attorney regarding filing a motion to enforce the terms of the separation agreement.

An attorney can prepare an agreed order for a judge to sign that amends the terms to reflect the new arrangement, whether that be financial or related to custody, visitation, child support, or spousal support.

Case Specifics

There is no advantage to being the plaintiff or the defendant in an uncontested divorce. 

You can file for divorce if you are unable to locate your spouse, provided that you have made diligent efforts to find them or contact them and were unable to. 

If a client or spouse is currently or will be involved in immigration or residency proceedings, an immigration attorney should be consulted before initiating a divorce. Our attorneys do not practice immigration law and therefore cannot advise you or your spouse as to the effect of the divorce on immigration, residency, or naturalization proceedings.

Child Support and Custody

Although a separation agreement can state that one party will not ask for child support from the other, this does not prevent a judge from ordering child support. Under Virginia law, child support is considered the right of the child, and as such a parent does not have the authority to waive that right.

Yes, a judge can order a change in custody and/or child support. However, once custody and/or child support is established, the party that wants to change custody or child support must show a material change in circumstances that warrants the change. For child support, this could be an increase or decrease in income of either spouse or a change in the financial needs of the child.

There is no requirement that a visitation schedule be specified. An agreement can say that the noncustodial parent will have reasonable rights of visitation. However, if there is concern that the parties cannot work together to facilitate visitation, then a detailed visitation schedule can be advantageous.

No, in an uncontested divorce, the court will most likely accept the custody and visitation terms that the parties agree upon.

No, in an uncontested divorce, the court will most likely accept the child support terms that the parties agree upon, whether that be a small amount, large amount, or no child support. However, it is important to keep in mind that child support and custody are never permanently fixed, and a court can reevaluate child support and/or custody at a future date if petitioned to do so by either party.

Division of Retirement Accounts

If you and your spouse agree that your spouse will not receive any funds from your retirement account, a judge will accept that agreement.

If your spouse accrued retirement funds between the date of marriage and the date of separation, you most likely have the right to a share of those funds. If you and your spouse cannot agree on the share that you will receive, you have the right to ask a judge to evaluate all assets, including retirement accounts, to assess what your share should be.

Virginia and International Divorce Acceptance

We will send you a divorce decree that has been signed by a Virginia circuit court judge and certified by the clerk of the court.

Yes, your divorce decree will be accepted in almost all foreign countries. Please check with the embassy of the country in which you want to register your Virginia divorce. The Virginia court that issues your divorce decree can provide a triple seal for use in a foreign country. The triple seal decree is signed by two judges and the clerk of the circuit court.

Name Change

Yes, as part of the divorce, you can change your name back to your maiden name or a former married name. However, if you wish to change to a name other than your maiden or former married name, that has to be done separately from the divorce case, by filing a name change petition with your local circuit court.

Same-Sex Divorce

Yes, we have handled same-sex divorce cases for many years.

Military Divorce

Yes, we represent military personnel and their spouses.

Scroll to Top