May 9, 2011
In Virginia, a divorcing couple must show grounds for the divorce. This may be based in one party’s fault, such as cruelty or adultery; or it may arise from the couple’s separation. In a separation divorce, the couple must first separate and then divorce after six months (with no children) or one year (with children).
Divorcing couples who are not in agreement over matters such as child custody, alimony orproperty division may need to resolve their disputes in court.
With Virginia divorce as complex as it is, many couples want to minimize the additional complications they introduce into the process. The following are tips to make a difficult situation a little easier, both financially and emotionally:
- Be clear about finances: It is critical to disclose all assets and liabilities during divorce. If the court discovers that a spouse has covered up such information, that spouse could experience serious financial consequences. In addition, both spouses should ensure that they control their own financial resources-rather than leaving the other spouse’s name on a personal credit card, for instance-and that they are aware of all of the couple’s assets and liabilities.
- Be willing to compromise when appropriate: Divorce can lead the most levelheaded people to act on impulses they later recognize as being unhelpful. It is important to keep the ultimate goal in mind. It is also vital to be willing to negotiate with the other spouse when compromise is feasible.
- Be careful about what you say and where you say it: In this digital age, offhand comments can be permanently recorded and subsequently used as evidence. Divorcing spouses should be mindful of both social media and social contacts. When in doubt, they are probably better off keeping their thoughts to themselves, or at least keeping them neutral.
Virginia couples who face divorce often have a choice about how to proceed. If they are in agreement that a lower level of conflict is preferable, they may be able to save a significant amount of time, stress and money.