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What kinds of divorce are there in Virginia?

The grounds for divorce in Virginia vary. There are two main kinds of divorce. The first kind of divorce that Virginia recognizes is a divorce from bed and board. The second type of divorce recognized is a divorce from the bond of matrimony. In a divorce of bed and board, you are legally separated but not legally able to remarry. If you go through a divorce from the bond of matrimony, then you may remarry in the future.

For a divorce from bed and board, there are two grounds for divorce. One is desertion or abandonment. The second is cruelty or reasonable apprehension of bodily harm.

A divorce from the bond of matrimony has several grounds you can choose from. One is a no-fault divorce, which does not imply that either party is at fault. This is a good choice for those who simply had a breakdown of the marriage over time but did not have adultery or other causes for the divorce. You must live apart for one year without cohabitation before you can apply for this kind of divorce.

Other grounds for divorce include adultery, buggery, sodomy or the conviction of a felony. In these cases, there must be significant evidence of adultery, buggery or sodomy, and the felony must lead to a confinement of at least a year.

In any case of divorce, the kind of divorce you choose can sometimes make a difference, so it's worth discussing with your attorney. Depending on your situation, one may be a better option for you than another, particularly if you want to get a divorce faster than one year.

Source: Virginia State Bar, "Divorce in Virginia," accessed Jan. 03, 2017

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