COVID-19 NOTIFICATION: To protect your safety in response to the threat of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us via teleworking options. Please call or e-mail us to discuss your options. We continue to operate under normal business hours.

Divorces and annulments in Virginia

Divorce can be a scary, but sometimes, relationships run their course. And, when it is time to separate, one knows it is time. However, before taking the plunge to start one’s new life, it is important to understand the basics. In this blog, we will examine how our state treats divorces and annulments, the two ways to end marriages here.

Annulments

There are many misunderstandings of annulments, especially as they seem to be handed out like candy in the movies. Simply put, while a divorce dissolves a marriage, annulments void them, like they never happened. This may seem easier and cleaner, but they are granted in very limited circumstances.

The primary reasons a family law judge would void a marriage is if the marriage was entered into because of duress, coercion, or fraud. Religious reasons are normally not a basis, and the length of cannot be the only reason, so that quickly marriage in Vegas will likely be much harder to end than it was enter.

Divorce

Our state breaks divorce down into two types: divorce from the bond of matrimony (legally called, a vinculo matrimonii) and divorce from bed and board (legally called, a mensa et thoro). The device from the bond of matrimony is what we know colloquially as divorce as it is the absolute and complete dissolution of a marriage.

On the other hand, a divorce from bed and board is what is generally known as a, legal separation. This means it is a qualified or partial divorce, but the couple is not allowed to remarry.

These types of divorces can be merged into the more traditional divorce from the bond of matrimony, but only after at least one year of being separated. Though, these can also be perpetual. This means that each party’s property is thereafter separated, including anything acquired after the separation. It also means that neither party can remarry.

If this seems complicated, it is because it can be. This is why the courts generally recommend that those seeking a divorce seek the counsel of an attorney. This is true even if both couples can agree on everything. It is important to ensure that one’s rights are protected.