Courtesy of Loudoun.Gov
Obtaining a Divorce
To obtain a divorce in Virginia, either you or your spouse must be a resident of Virginia for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
For a “no fault” or uncontested divorce, if there are no children from the marriage, you must be separated for a minimum of six months and have a written property settlement agreement before you may file for divorce; if there are children from the marriage, you must be separated a minimum of one year before you may file for divorce. If any child or children of the marriage is under the age of 18, both the husband and the wife must complete the Families in Transition (FITS) Program.
The case is normally filed in the Circuit Court of the city or county either where the parties last lived together, or where the defendant lives at the time of the filing. In Virginia, you do not file a separation agreement with the Court, unless you wish the court to approve it as part of the divorce proceeding.
The complaint is submitted along with a VS-4 form. The VS-4 form is available at the Clerk’s Office or at the local Department of Health. You will also need to provide with your filing the following completed documents.
- Addendum For Protected Identifying Information
- Civil Cover Sheet
- Fits Program
- Name Change
- Ore Tenus Praecipe
- Waiver of Future Service
- The following fees are associated with filing a divorce case:
- A $12 service fee if the complainant wishes to have a defendant that resides in Virginia served by the Sheriff. If the defendant does not reside in the State of Virginia, or if the complainant does not wish to have the document served by a sheriff, the complainant must make arrangements to have the documents served on the defendant. This may be accomplished by using a private process server; or if the defendant is willing to accept service, having the subpoena issued to the complainant so that the complainant may arrange for the defendant to accept service before a notary public or execute a waiver of notice.
- A filing fee is required. See the civil filing fee calculation.
- If the wife wishes to resume her maiden name, a name change order must be submitted, and there will be an additional recording fee payable when the final decree of divorce is entered. This fee is $21 for up to ten pages.
All fees are payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court by cash, check or money order and do not include filing fees in the same check as your recording fees.