In 2018, there were 3.1 divorces per thousand inhabitants in Virginia. Going through a divorce can be an emotional experience that can have long-term implications on different aspects of your life, including your family, children, finances, friends, and assets. With an abundance of confusing information out there, it is easy to make irrevocable mistakes without proper guidance.

If you live in Virginia, and you are considering divorce, or if you've just been served with divorce papers, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Virginia family law attorney immediately to receive detailed legal counsel. Attorney Gordon Peters is dedicated to helping clients through difficult transitions in their lives. He will offer you the experienced legal guidance you need and help you navigate key decisions in your divorce.

Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, proudly serves clients throughout Lynchburg and Blackstone, Virginia, and the surrounding counties of Campbell County, Amherst County, and Bedford County.

Filing for Divorce in Virginia

Virginia is a hybrid divorce state. This means that you can file for divorce on no-fault grounds or seek a divorce based on fault if your partner commits adultery or is guilty of marital misconduct. Divorces in Virginia generally follow one of two paths – contested and uncontested divorce.

Uncontested (Separation Agreement)

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses mutually agree on the essential terms of the divorce. A separation agreement can be drafted between the couple and with the help of a family law attorney that will include key terms and details of the divorce settlement including property division, alimony, child support, custody arrangements, tax deductions, and visitation periods. All terms agreed upon will be filed with the court to be officially approved.


In a contested divorce, the spouses are unable to agree on one or more essential terms of the divorce settlement. A court hearing may be necessary, where the judge will issue a final verdict.



Grounds for Divorce

The grounds for divorce in Virginia include:

Fault Divorce

The spouses can seek a divorce based on marital misconduct. This may be the ideal option for spouses who haven't been separated long enough to qualify for a no-fault divorce. The following grounds are acceptable in the state:

  • Adultery, sodomy, or buggery

  • Felony conviction

  • Abandonment or intentional desertion for over a year

  • Cruelty by one spouse that causes bodily harm or fear of bodily harm to the other spouse

No-Fault Divorce

In a no-fault divorce, there is no need to state a reason for wanting to end the marriage. However, to file for divorce on no-fault grounds, both couples are required to be living separately for at least a year.

In some cases, where there are no minor children involved and the couple has prepared a separation agreement, the judge may reduce the one-year requirement to six months. Especially in circumstances where living separately is a financial hardship.

Dividing Assets and Debts

Virginia is an equitable distribution state. Pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 20-107.3 (B), Virginia courts are required to follow the equitable distribution model when dividing marital property. The following factors will be considered by the court during property division:

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The age, physical, and mental condition of each spouse

  • Monetary and non-monetary contribution of each spouse to the family's well-being, acquisition, and maintenance of the marital property

  • How and when the marital property was acquired

  • The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property

  • The debts and liabilities of each spouse

  • Tax consequences of the marital property

The court only divides marital property or that which was acquired or earned during the marriage. Separate property — which is any property that belonged to an individual prior to the marriage, or property that was inherited or gifted — remains with that individual.

The Family Law Attorney's Role

Divorce in Virginia involves a lot of complicated processes. Trying to negotiate a divorce settlement with your estranged spouse, dividing property, determining child custody, and agreeing on visitation periods, can make the divorce process even more difficult and stressful. This is why it is important to hire a knowledgeable Virginia divorce attorney for detailed guidance.

Attorney Gordon Peters is committed to providing outstanding legal services and helping clients in family law and divorce matters. He will inform you of your options and help you navigate key decisions during the divorce proceedings. Also, he will work diligently with all parties involved to negotiate a fair resolution.

As your legal counsel, he will ensure that matters of property division, spousal support, child support, and parenting time are resolved productively. A one-on-one consultation with an experienced divorce attorney may be what you need to protect your rights, your family's best interest, and make the transition as smooth as possible.


If you are considering divorce or have just been served with divorce papers, contact E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Attorney Gordon Peters can offer you the experienced legal guidance and advocacy you need to navigate key decisions in your divorce. He proudly serves clients throughout Lynchburg, Blackstone, Campbell County, Amherst County, and Bedford County, Virginia. Call him today to speak with a knowledgeable Virginia divorce attorney.