Don’t Believe These 7 Legal Claims When Filing A Divorce In Virginia

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‘And They Lived Happily Ever After!’ is not always true.

You must have imagined a beautiful married life with your significant other filled with love and understanding. However, sometimes things don’t turn out as you planned and lead you to make some harsh decisions, i.e., divorce.

Undoubtedly, filing for a divorce is a huge emotional decision. On top of that, the divorce procedure includes various terms and conditions that can create misconceptions in your mind. These myths can indeed complicate your divorce proceeding if not cleared on time.

This article will help you in clearing all your doubts. So, here it goes!


‘I Can Only Claim The Property That I Own’

Property settlement while getting a divorce in Virginia is very crucial. Many people have this misconception that they can only claim assets under their name, which is not valid.

Basically, there are two types of properties- separate property and marital property. According to the law, both spouses need to equally divide the marital property as it generally includes all the assets purchased after marriage. Even if there is only a single property owner in the legal documents, you and your spouse both have equal claim over it.

Similarly, if there is any marital debt (Debt taken after getting married), both spouses have to repay the liabilities.

For the separate property, you need to make your attorney aware of it in advance, to remove any complications in the future.


‘The Divorce Process Will Be Completed In Few Days’

Well, it depends.

If you resolve all your issues in the first round and during the separation agreement creation procedure, then the divorce process won’t take long. You just need to fulfill the requirement of staying apart from each other for either six months or one year in different residences (one of you has to reside in Virginia for at least six months).

However, if there are disputes among both parties, then your divorce processing will take time. You must hire an experienced attorney to make the separation process easy and smooth.


‘Backdating Period Of Separation Can Be Done’

‘Separation period’ is a term that will play a very vital role in your divorce proceedings.

Why? Because to complete your divorce process, you and your spouse need to stay apart in different residences for six months or one year (in case you have kids). According to Virginia divorce laws, the separation period is calculated from the day both of you start to live apart and not necessarily from the date of signing of the separation agreement.

So, what is backdating, and how is it related to the separation period?

The experts at explain that some couples try to reduce the separation’s period tenure by claiming that they started living apart earlier than the separation agreement’s mentioned date. Little do they know that this backdating is unethical, and if you or your spouse is found guilty for backdating in court, it will lead to an act of perjury. And that’s a punishable offense. You won’t get any benefit doing such manipulations.


‘I’ll Get The Whole Claim in Property As My Spouse Committed Adultery’

Adultery is an offense and is highly discouraged. However, an act of adultery does not have any effect on the claim of property. The judge will distribute the marital property based on your marriage tenure. You can not get the whole property or any kind of monetary compensation for the act of adultery committed by your spouse.

Likewise, for your child’s custody, the judge will look for the parent who is more responsible, can take care of the child, and is at less fault in the separation. The case of adultery is insignificant for the judge.

Though, it does not mean that any person should commit such a shameful act!


‘I Can Change The Terms of Separation Agreement Later’

No, you can not change the terms of your separation agreement once you sign it. Hence, it is recommended to appoint an attorney for finalizing the terms of separation. Divorce is a big step, and if you have a child, you need to be extra careful while reading all the terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement before signing.

If you have any queries, do not hesitate to ask. If you don’t like any term, you can ask your attorney to amend it. When you sign the final terms and conditions, just be sure that you can adjust to them.


‘Our Divorce is Uncontested’

Sad to tell you but, it is never true. Even if you and your spouse have no issue regarding the reason for your divorce, you may have a dispute regarding the settlement of property, retirement fund, the claim of furniture, or custody of your child, which breaks your belief of “Uncontested” divorce.

When you have issues like these, you can qualify for ‘No-fault’ divorce but not ‘uncontested’ divorce. Therefore, it is always better to clear out all these problems in advance and in writing for the smooth processing of divorce and avoid any future issues.


‘I Don’t Need A Lawyer. It’ll Be A Waste Of Money Anyways’

You are very wrong if you think that you can complete the whole divorce procedure without a lawyer’s involvement. First of all, it is impossible to grasp every piece of information about divorce law. Secondly, as the rules are complicated, you can create a risk for yourself in the absence of an expert.

It is your responsibility to protect your rights. By hiring a lawyer, you are actually making a good investment by shielding your assets. They can help you in making wise decisions and also in creating a good Property Settlement Agreement.


To conclude,

We understand that getting separated from your partner is a stigma. And on top of that, the divorce laws make it more challenging for couples. But, you can’t let this affect your divorce procedure. Hiring an attorney for your divorce will safeguard your rights, and prevent you from making silly mistakes that can cost you hundreds of dollars.

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