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Do You Have to Appear in Court for a No-Fault Uncontested Divorce?

By consulting with a Virginia Beach family law attorney, you can get answers to all your questions about Virginia divorce and other family law matters.

Previously, in most Virginia courts, when obtaining a no-fault, uncontested divorce, plaintiffs had to testify in person, orally, in open court. However, in 2012, the Virginia legislature passed a bill which became Virginia Code § 20-106. Now, under the revised statute, plaintiffs can testify through an affidavit or written deposition and third party. This is possible when all issues involved with the divorce are resolved in a written settlement agreement, and there are no other issues other than the grounds of the divorce itself that require adjudication. It is also possible when the respondent has been personally served with the divorce complaint and has failed to file a responsive pleading or make an appearance as required by law. Affidavits require certain affirmations, such as the following:

  • Factual support for the claim or counterclaim
  • Parties are over age 18
  • Neither party is incarcerated
  • Military status is verified and whether response was waived under Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
  • One party to the lawsuit has resided in Virginia for six months
  • Parties lived separately and continuously without cohabitation for one year and with intent to remain separate and apart permanently
  • Desire to be awarded divorce is confirmed
  • Statement of whether there are children and that the wife is not known to be pregnant
  • A corroborating witness’s affidavit verifies the above points

A Norfolk family law attorney can handle the paperwork involved for you. Another convenience is that a spouse filing for divorce who lives out-of-state or abroad does not have to appear in court.

Darrell M. Harding has decades of experience handling Virginia family law issues and divorces.

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