What are the 2 types of divorce in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Uncategorized

Couples in Virginia decide to divorce for a variety of different reasons, and they may approach the divorce process in unique ways depending on personal priorities. Yet, all marriages in Virginia are subject to the same laws regardless of someone’s personal circumstances. There are equitable division rules for property division issues, clear guidance on spousal support and standards for custody conflicts. There are also different forms of divorce available depending on the situation.

The party pursuing divorce in Virginia usually has the option of requesting one of two types of divorce. Some people pursue divorce from bed and board, while others request divorce from the bonds of matrimony.

Divorce from bed and board is like a legal separation

People who have married each other usually live with one another and share their finances. When spouses decide to maintain separate financial accounts and households, they may notify the state of their change in circumstances. A divorce from bed and board is essentially a legal separation. While it technically does not end the marital relationship between the spouses, it does limit the responsibility spouses have to each other and the liability they have for one another’s behavior. Reconciliation is always a possibility after divorce from bed and board.

Divorce from the bonds of matrimony

When people talk about divorce, usually what they mean is divorce from the bonds of matrimony. This is a traditional divorce that culminates with the official end of a legally-recognized marriage. Spouses typically have to settle property division matters and negotiate away to share parental responsibilities if they have young children in the family. Otherwise, they litigate a contested divorce where a judge makes major decisions on their behalf.

Some people begin with a divorce from bed and board and then eventually pursue a divorce from the bonds of matrimony. Others realize that their relationship is not salvageable and move immediately to end the matrimonial connection between spouses. Choosing the right type of divorce can be as important as setting realistic divorce goals. Adults who understand Virginia’s unique approach to divorce could have an easier time handling the divorce process.