What happens in a Divorce?

A divorce case can handle the following issues:

  • end the marriage
  • reinstate a former name
  • divide property and debt
  • support of a spouse
  • support of a child
  • custody and visitation (parenting time)
  • parentage issues if necessary

Which Court handles divorce?

Divorces are heard in the Circuit Court.  Custody, visitation, child support, parentage and spousal support may be resolved in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.  After a divorce, requests to revise support, custody and visitation generally go to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

What are the different kinds of divorce?

There are three kinds of divorces: Uncontested, No-Fault, and Contested.

What resources can help me understand the divorce process?

There are no official court forms dealing with the process of spousal separation or divorce.  Information about the divorce process, as well as practical concerns about financial matters and custody, is available from the Virginia State Bar and VALegalAid.org.  These organizations and the find a lawyer resources, along with your local court, local law library or local Bar Association may also be able to refer you to someone who can help.  VA Law Help 2 Go offers a video that explains your options in pursuing an uncontested divorce from your partner.

The Spare the Child video, a project of the Virginia State Bar's Family Law Section, guides parents through the difficult task of restructuring their family. The documentary-style, conversational video uses everyday language.  It gives examples from people experienced with divorce, such as judges, lawyers, guardians ad litem, counselors, teachers, and children of divorce.

What about custody, visitation and support?

Please visit the Custody and Support page.


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