Items to Discuss With Your Spouse Before Beginning an Uncontested Divorce in Virginia

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Items to Discuss With Your Spouse Before Beginning an Uncontested Divorce in Virginia

September 22 2022
By Faye Carroll

An uncontested divorce requires that you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce. This means that before beginning the uncontested divorce process in Virginia, it’s important to discuss certain items with your spouse.

These topics of discussion will guide the terms of your separation and make it easier, less expensive, and faster for you to secure your divorce in Virginia. So what topics should you discuss with your spouse before pursuing an uncontested divorce?

Custody and Visitation of Children

If you and your spouse have children under the age of 18, you will need to discuss custody and visitation rights. One parent may want sole custody while the other has visitation rights, or both parents can share custody. 

There is also the matter of legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody refers to where and with whom the child lives, while legal custody refers to any legal and medical decisions a parent can make for the child.

You and your spouse may agree on joint physical and legal custody or sole legal and physical custody. Generally, joint physical and legal custody is the most common.

Distribution of Property

Marital property includes any property or assets you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. These can include physical items such as vehicles, homes, or furniture, as well as monetary assets such as investment or retirement accounts.

Even if you have an item or asset that is “yours”, legally it may be considered marital property. For example, if you have a vehicle that you purchased with money from a joint account or co-mingled funds, it will be considered joint property.

In order to proceed with an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree on how property will be divided between the two of you or if you will sell some of your property or assets.

Payment of Marital Debt

Any debt acquired during your marriage is generally considered joint debt, and you and your spouse must decide how this debt will be paid back. These debts can include student loans, mortgages, credit card debt, and medical bills.

In some cases, even debt that you incurred alone may still be considered joint debt. For example, if your name but not your spouse’s is on the mortgage, or if your spouse has student debt, they may still be equitably distributed in a divorce, meaning both parties will be responsible for repayment. Therefore, you must decide how these payments will be split or not split among you.

Spousal and Child Support Issues

Alimony, or spousal support, isn’t applicable in all divorces. Cases where spouses have very different incomes or one spouse is unemployed or unable to work may be eligible for alimony. You and your spouse must agree on whether alimony will be paid, who will pay, and how much.

The same is true for child support. Legally, both parents have an obligation to financially support their children. If you decide one spouse will have primary custody, then the other spouse will need to make child support payments. In joint custody arrangements, both parents are required to financially support the child.

Get Started With Your Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is only possible if you and your spouse agree on terms. Have these discussions with your spouse to determine if you can move forward with securing an uncontested divorce in Virginia. When you’re ready to start the process, contact Virginia Family Law Center, P.C., to schedule your consultation and discuss the next steps.

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