If you choose to represent yourself, you will be expected to follow the same procedures as an attorney. Court personnel are prohibited by state law to give you legal advice or assistance. You are strongly encouraged to hire an attorney.
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 an 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, signed and notarized by both parties 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.
A Chancery Commissioner, appointed by the Circuit Court, will hear uncontested cases, filed by parties without an attorney on either side.
An uncontested divorce is one in which all the issues have been agreed to by the parties; the grounds are separation for the statutory period, and a motion for a no-fault divorce will be made pursuant to Virginia Code §20-121-02; and child support, spousal support, custody and/or visitation are not requested.
The fees associated with the filing of a divorce case are:
- An $84.00 fee is required to file a complaint
- Chancery Commissioner’s fee is $150.00
- Name Change Application to resume maiden name $39.00
When your Complaint and a copy of your Marriage License, with appropriate fees is presented to the Clerk’s Office, your case will be assigned a case number and you will be given a waiver for your spouse to sign and have his or her signature notarized. You are responsible for returning the waiver to the Clerk’s Office. Once the waiver has been filed, the Judge will sign a Decree of Reference, allowing you to make an appointment with the Chancery Commissioner.For more information, or for answers to specific questions, we suggest you review the Code of Virginia and contact a lawyer. If you need a lawyer, please contact the Virginia Lawyer Referral Service at 804-775-0808 or 800-552-7977 or Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia at 757-442-3014.
In order to view a sample Uncontested Divorce Complaint click here.