Dating during marital seperation

[Note, however that couples with minor children have to wait one year before filing, whether they have a separation agreement or not.] For this reason, even a couple with no joint property, debts or other issues to resolve might choose to enter into a separation agreement.

If you are considering a separation from your spouse, you may decide to hire a family law attorney to draft an agreement for you, to review an agreement proposed by your spouse, or to negotiate an agreement with your spouse’s attorney on your behalf.

With such an agreement in place, once the parties have lived separate and apart for the appropriate time, either party may then file for an uncontested divorce on the no-fault ground of separation.

Virginia law allows for no-fault divorce on the grounds of (a) separation for one year or (b) separation for six months with a separation agreement in place and no minor children.

However, unlike many states, Virginia law does not have a procedure for obtaining a status of “legal separation” in these no-fault cases.

The wife also asked her husband repeatedly to move out of the house, thereby establishing her intent to separate.

Further, she no longer deposited funds into the parties’ joint bank accounts, and the wife ceased attending church and other family functions with her husband.

However, the Court of Appeals found these facts alone were insufficient to prove that the parties were cohabiting.

As demonstrated by the case of , whether the parties are living separate and apart under the same roof is a fact-specific issue that requires the court to consider all of the circumstances before making a determination.

Instead, a finding of desertion requires that one party has ceased performing their marital duties, which can include but are not limited to providing financial support or contributing to marital bills or debts, and providing emotional or physical support.

Separation, as distinguished from desertion, is separating from your spouse, either in the home or outside, while still operating under the rules and standards of the marriage, such as division of the marital obligations and duties.

So, what does it mean to live “separate and apart” for purposes of a no-fault divorce on the ground of separation in Virginia?

Caselaw provides for a number of different indicia of a “separation” for these purposes.

She had a corroborating witness visit the house once a week, who later testified that the parties were no longer living as a married couple.

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