• Blog >
  • What Is A Bed And Board Divorce In Virginia?

What Is A Bed And Board Divorce In Virginia?

According to the Virginia Bar Association, the commonwealth recognizes two types of divorce: divorce from bed and board (a mensa et thoro) and divorce from the bonds of matrimony (a vinculo matrimonii). 

You may be familiar with the more common divorce from the bonds of matrimony, which is a full legal end to a marriage, following which the parties involved may legally marry again. The more unusual divorce from bed and board  may be described as a “partial divorce.” In Virginia, this is also known as a “qualified divorce.” A divorce from bed and board is a declaration that a married couple has chosen to live apart, but not to formally divorce one another for the time being. Couples who agree to a divorce from bed and board are considered to be legally separated, but are not allowed to legally remarry other people. 

There are multiple reasons why couples may choose a divorce from bed and board rather than a divorce from the bonds of matrimony. Some couples discover that they are no longer able to live together, but do not want to divorce because of their religious beliefs. Some may want to simply “keep up appearances,” or to avoid divorce “for the sake of the children.” 

Sometimes, one party chooses to leave the other, but this is not sufficient grounds to request a bed and board divorce. In Virginia, such requests may only be made when a “willful desertion or abandonment” has occurred, which the Virginia Bar Association defines as, “both the breaking off of cohabitation and an intent to desert in the mind of the offender.” Willful desertion and abandonment is ground for divorce in Virginia, per Virginia Code Section 20-91. Virginia law also allows parties involved in a divorce request a bed and board divorce and then “merge” that decree into a full divorce after one year of separation.

While all this may seem a little complicated, an experienced Virginia divorce attorney can help you with both a bed and board divorces and divorce from the bonds of matrimony. Darrell M. Harding, Attorney at Law serves clients in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

Contact Form

We will respond to your inquiry in a timely fashion. Thank you.

!
!
!

Virginia Beach: 757-499-2600
Chesapeake: 757-401-6804
Norfolk: 757-512-8393

Testimonials

"In every case Mr. Harding takes, he strives to provide his clients with the highest level of legal service. If you choose Darrell M. Harding Attorney At Law, PLC to represent you, you can expect to receive experienced legal guidance and be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect at all times."

More Testimonials

Our Offices

  • Virginia Beach Office

    Address

    5366 Virginia Beach Boulevard, AAA Building.
    Suite 301
    Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462

  • Chesapeake Office

    Address

    2010 Old Greenbrier Road
    Suite L
    Chesapeake, Virginia 23320

    Phone

    757-401-6804

  • Norfolk Office

    Address

    1500 E Little Creek Road
    Suite 309
    Norfolk, Virginia 23518

    Phone

    757-512-8393

Choose a location to review

Harding, Harding & Harding Attorneys at Law locations:

Ratings & Reviews

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Thomas Harding was a great lawyer. Very detailed and patient about his work. Helped me win a case that I did not think I would win. I will always refers him as my lawyer.

    — Darryl Bush

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Thomas was so easy to work with in what to me, was a stressful situation. I had numerous questions and he never hesitated to respond back to all of them and put my mind at ease with his knowledge of all of my issues. I’ve already started re...
    Show More

    — Client

  • yelp
    5.0/5.0

    You pay for what you get! Darrell is very knowledgeable and I trust him 100% with my case! Hopefully I’ll never need him again after my case but if I ever did he would be only a phone call away for sure!

    — Sidney H.

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr.Harding & his Paralegal Ms.Meats were attentive & Professional for my Situation. Mr.Harding.was given what he needed to represent me we spoke b4 Trial. I did get the outcome I wanted which was Custody, We didn't have to get Nasty but if ...
    Show More

    — Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Thomas and his team did a wonderful job helping me through an otherwise very difficult time in my life. I appreciate his willingness to meet when it was convient for me. I would definitely recommend his services.

    — Cullen Darling