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Legal Separation in Virginia (Part A)

If you are experiencing intense marital problems with your husband but aren't quite ready to file for a divorce, you may have considered seeking a legal separation. The Virginia separation process is best approached with the help of a skilled Virginia divorce attorney who specializes in helping women seeking to end their marriages. 

When handled properly and with the help of your legal team, you can protect yourself, your children and your assets as you navigate the conclusion of your marriage through a Virginia separation.


What is a Virginia Separation?


A Virginia separation is different than what constitutes a "legal separation" in many states because you and your spouse aren't required to obtain a signed, legal document that identifies you as being legally separated.

In order to achieve a Virginia separation, you simply must stop living together as a married couple, and at least one of you must have the clear intention that this separation is the first step to ending the marriage. In most cases, a separation under these circumstances is required to last 1 year in order for you to file for a Virginia divorce.

For most couples, a separation means that you and your spouse will cease living under the same roof, although this is not necessarily required for the separation to take effect. The critical thing is that you are "living separate," even if still residing in the same home.


What Does it Mean to "Live Separate" in Virginia?

In some circumstances, you and your spouse may not have the option of living in separate homes during the course of your Virginia separation. You may choose to undergo an "in-home separation" due to the financial considerations of keeping two homes, or because of concerns about your children.

Virginia divorce law does allow for in-home separation, but there are inherent risks associated with such an arrangement. Be sure to go into an in-home separation with eyes wide open. Your Virginia divorce attorney can help you to determine if you and your husband can successfully achieve an in-home separation.


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Charles Hofheimer
A tough, no nonsense Virginia divorce and custody lawyer for women only.