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Can I Oppose a Divorce? 

If your spouse’s request for a divorce leaves you blindsided, you may be reeling and may wonder if you can halt the proceedings. While you can commit yourself to working on your marriage and doing what it takes to save it, there is nothing you can do to stop the divorce if your spouse is determined to press forward. Fortunately, however, there are parameters in place that are designed to protect your parental and financial rights throughout the legal process. 

If you are facing a divorce that seemingly came out of nowhere, it’s time to reach out to an experienced Virginia divorce attorney – serving Virginia Beach and Chesapeake – for the help you need.   

Obtaining a No-Fault Divorce

If your spouse is seeking a divorce that is not based on proving your fault in the matter – a no-fault divorce – he or she has only one option, and this is a divorce based on separation. Obtaining a fault-based divorce is a significant hurdle in the State of Virginia, and the only options include proving at least one of the following

  • Adultery (under specific circumstances)
  • Felony conviction (under specific circumstances)
  • Willful abandonment or desertion of at least one year
  • Cruelty that causes the other spouse to reasonably fear bodily harm 

The vast majority of divorces in Virginia are no-fault divorces, and in order to qualify, you and your divorcing spouse must be able to demonstrate that you have lived separate and apart from one another (without engaging in a sexual relationship together) for at least a full year. 

Service of Divorce Papers

Until your spouse serves you with a Complaint for Divorce, nothing is required of you. Service of this complaint begins the divorce process. A threat of divorce is not the same as filing for divorce, but if you have been served, it’s time to take action. Another important point to make here is that if your spouse asks you to sign off on a marital settlement agreement, you are not required to do so – and shouldn’t. Once you are served with that complaint, however, you have only 21 days from the date of service to respond, and at this point, you need professional legal counsel on your side. 

Don’t Ignore the Issue

Once you are served with divorce papers, burying your head in the sand and ignoring the issue is not going to do you – or your rights under the law – any favors. Your divorce will address all the following terms that apply (and protecting your rights within each is paramount):

  • The division of your marital property
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Alimony

An Experienced Virginia Divorce Attorney Can Help   

If you are facing a divorce that you don’t want, it makes the path forward that much more challenging. The compassionate divorce attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston PLLC – proudly serving both Virginia Beach and Chesapeake – have the experience, legal insight, and focus to help. We’re on your side, so please don’t wait to contact us for more information today.