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How long does it take to get divorce in virginia

How long does it take to get divorce in virginia


Going through a divorce can be a challenging experience, and one of the common questions people have is how long the process takes. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the divorce timeline in Virginia, the factors that may affect it, and the resources available to guide you through the process.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Virginia?

The duration of a divorce process in Virginia can vary based on several factors. While it’s important to note that every case is unique, we’ll outline the general timeline and steps involved in getting a divorce in the state.

1. Separation Period

Required Separation Time

In Virginia, a no-fault divorce typically requires a separation period of one year. This means that the spouses must live separately and apart without cohabitation for at least 12 months.

2. Filing for Divorce

Initiating the Process

Once the separation period is complete, either spouse can file for divorce. This involves submitting the necessary paperwork to the appropriate court.

3. Service of Process

Serving Divorce Papers

The filing spouse must serve the divorce papers to the other spouse. The served spouse has a specific period to respond.

4. Waiting Period

Mandatory Waiting Time

After being served, there is a mandatory waiting period before the court can grant the divorce. This waiting period can vary but is typically around 30 days.

5. Resolving Disputes

Handling Issues

If there are disputes related to property division, alimony, child custody, or child support, the resolution of these matters can extend the divorce process.

6. Finalizing the Divorce

Obtaining the Divorce Decree

Once all issues are resolved and the waiting period has passed, the court will issue the final divorce decree, officially ending the marriage.

Useful Resources Links

Explore the following resources to gain a deeper understanding of the divorce process in Virginia:

  1. Virginia Judicial System – Divorce Information
  2. Virginia State Bar – Family Law Section
  3. Legal Aid Works™ – Divorce in Virginia


Can I file for divorce immediately after separating in Virginia?

No, Virginia law requires a separation period of one year before filing for a no-fault divorce.

What if my spouse doesn’t respond to the divorce papers?

If your spouse doesn’t respond within the specified time, the divorce process can still proceed, but it’s best to consult with an attorney.

Can the waiting period be waived?

In some cases, a waiting period waiver may be granted, but it’s not common. It’s advisable to consult an attorney for guidance.

Do I need to prove fault to get a divorce in Virginia?

No, Virginia allows both fault-based and no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces are typically based on separation.

How can I speed up the divorce process?

Resolving disputes amicably and efficiently can help speed up the process. Consulting with legal professionals can also provide guidance.

Can I remarry immediately after the divorce is final?

Yes, you can remarry once the divorce is finalized and the court issues the divorce decree.


The duration of getting a divorce in Virginia depends on various factors, including the separation period, resolving disputes, and court procedures. Understanding the timeline and having access to reliable resources can help you navigate the process with greater confidence and clarity.

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