If you want a divorce in Virginia, your spouse cannot stop you from obtaining one. However, he can make the process more difficult. In addition, you would need to prove one of the grounds for divorce in Virginia before you could become divorced. However, this is possible whether or not your spouse will cooperate in the divorce.
What Grounds for Divorce Must You Prove?
In Virginia, there are two categories of grounds of divorces: those that allow an immediate divorce and those that require a waiting period. Whether you file for an immediate divorce or a divorce with a waiting period, your spouse could delay the process by disputing the grounds for divorce. To obtain an immediate divorce, you would need to prove one of the following:
- Your spouse engaged in adultery, buggery, or sodomy—which are difficult to prove. You also cannot have resided with your spouse after he committed one of these acts.
- Your spouse was convicted of a felony and incarcerated for one year or more. You cannot have lived with him after his release from prison.
If you cannot meet the grounds for an immediate divorce, you can obtain one based on grounds that require a one-year waiting period. Your spouse could still delay the divorce by disputing at least some of the grounds in this category. These are the grounds for this type of divorce:
- Your spouse engaged in physical cruelty.
- Your spouse deserted you without a good reason.
- Your spouse forced you to leave by his actions.
- You have been separated from your spouse for at least one year and have had no sexual relations during this time period.
Are There Other Ways That My Spouse Can Delay the Divorce?
Your spouse can also delay your divorce by raising other disputes in the proceedings. This could require your divorce attorney to engage in discovery, file motions, and attend additional hearings for your case—making your divorce take longer. Your spouse could dispute these issues in your divorce:
- Division of property
- Custody and parenting time with the children
- Child support
Any issues that you are unable to agree on with your spouse will require a decision by the judge in your divorce case after a hearing is held. If you want to file for divorce and your spouse will not agree to it, our experienced divorce attorneys can guide you through the process of obtaining a divorce. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.