In Virginia a couple can file for divorce on an uncontested, or no fault, grounds if they have lived separate and apart for at least one full year. This means that neither party has to allege or prove a fault ground such as cruelty, abandonment or adultery. If the parties have entered into a separation agreement and have no children, then they are eligible to file for divorce after a six month separation.
An uncontested divorce is one where both parties have agreed on all issues and there is nothing left to dispute. If the parties do not agree on all issues, such as child custody, support or distribution of marital assets, then the divorce will most likely be contested.
The first step to obtaining an uncontested divorce is to meet with a lawyer. If you and your spouse have agreed on how everything is going to be divided up, then the lawyer may recommend that you enter into a separation agreement. If you don’t have any property or children, then you may not even need a separation an agreement.
The attorney will file a complaint for divorce and then serve the complaint on your spouse through deputy sheriff or private process server. In some cases, your spouse may be willing to sign an acceptance of service waiver, which means there is no need to have him/her served.
After your spouse is served or signs a waiver, your attorney will schedule to have your divorce finalized. The attorney can do this several different ways, depending on the city and court. There will either be a hearing in front of a Judge, a deposition, or a signing of affidavits. Once this step is done, the final decree of divorce is entered by the Judge and you are divorced.