How to Establish You Live Separate and Apart When You Live Together and File a Virginia Divorce

Separated Couple Sitting on Opposite Sides of a HouseIn Virginia, you must live separate and apart for six months if you have no children from the marriage and one year if you have children with your spouse to obtain a no-contest divorce. If you decide to live together during this separation period, you may still be able to show that you are separated. Here is what you will need to establish to meet this requirement in Virginia divorces.

How to Establish You Have Separated When You Live in the Same Household

If you are living with your spouse but plan to file for divorce, you must establish that you are living separate and apart. One good way to prove you meet this requirement is to sign a separation agreement to establish the date you separated and the rules you plan to follow until one of you moves out of the house. This can also avoid confusion and disputes.

You should also follow certain rules for your in-home separation to be considered valid by the judge. Ways you can show you are separated include:

  • Stop acting like you are a married couple
  • Live your life like you are roommates
  • Stay in separate bedrooms
  • Have no romantic relations with your spouse
  • Stop presenting yourself as a couple when you are out in public
  • Separate your personal expenses
  • Stop eating meals with each other or doing chores for each other, like laundry or cooking, that married couples do for each other
  • Limit your communications
  • Tell your family and friends that you are living separately

In addition, you will need to have someone verify that you are separated from your spouse if you live in the same household. This individual can be a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker. The person must visit you regularly at your home or live in the house with you.

Contact a Virginia Family Law Attorney

Do you want to file a divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our experienced family law attorneys are here to protect your rights and to make the process go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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