Experts say that divorce lawyer inquiries spike during January. In an effort to embrace the “new year, new you,” mentality that defines the month, many individuals make the first move toward ending a stagnant or unhappy marriage in the days and weeks after the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.
If you are considering wiping the slate of past years by filing for divorce, take the time to gather your thoughts and emotions and begin to weigh your options. These options include the grounds by which you plan to file. You can file for a divorce from bed and board (partial divorce via legal separation) or divorce from the bond of matrimony (absolute divorce) depending on your unique situation. Here are the acceptable reasons for divorce as set forth by the Virginia State Bar.
- Willful desertion or abandonment. If a spouse breaks off cohabitation both physically and mentally, there may be grounds for divorce from bed and board (and if the divorce continues for a year after the original separation, there may be grounds for a divorce from the bond of matrimony.)
- Cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. Proof of a home life made unsafe by physical abuse.
- “No Fault” divorce. Involves no blame on the part of either spouse. A divorce from the bond of matrimony in these cases requires one year of complete separation.
- Adultery, sodomy or buggery. Proof of sexual acts outside of the marriage can be used as grounds for a direct divorce from the bond of matrimony.
- Felony conviction. In the event that a spouse is convicted of a felony and confined for more than a year, the other spouse can file for a divorce from the bond of matrimony.
Though these grounds are the legal standards by which an individual looking to file for divorce should judge their personal situation, the lines are often blurred. Sound legal advice from an experienced family lawyer is necessary even in the earliest planning stages of a separation or divorce.
Whether you are in Newport News, Virginia Beach, Norfolk or any other city in the Hampton Roads region, call the divorce lawyers of Montagna Klein Camden to discuss your case and remember 2014 as the year you started fresh.