There are two broad categories into which grounds for divorce in VA fall. There are divorces from

1) Bonds of Matrimony, and

2) Bed and Board

A divorce from bonds of matrimony usually represents a total dissolution of the legal marriage contract. On the other hand, one from bed and board would more commonly be known as a separation. Under this category, neither party is allowed to remarry.

In the state of Virginia, a mutual desire for divorce is not sufficient. The married couple must establish, in court, grounds for the proceeding. These grounds fall into subcategories under each of the broader categories mentioned earlier. 

Divorce in VACredit: taberandrewCredit: taberandrew

Grounds for a Divorce From Bed and Board

According to VA divorce laws, grounds for separation of bed and board can be established one of two ways. The first is 'willful desertion or abandonment.' This is defined as the offender's intent to desert and cease cohabitation. A divorce from the bond of matrimony may be awarded in the event that the desertion lasts more than one year. The second subcategory is 'cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm.' If a spouse has been the victim of cruel acts that caused physical injury grounds, divorce could be authorized. A spouse must establish cruelty beyond only mental cruelty to establish grounds for divorce in VA.

Grounds for a Divorce From the Bond of Matrimony

Grounds for divorce from the bond of matrimony fall into one of three subcategories. A 'no fault' divorce means both the husband and wife have been willfully living apart for more than a year and one in which they both desire a divorce. As the name suggests, 'no fault' does not imply any wrong doing on the part of either party. However, this does not imply that alimony cannot be sought.

The second category is 'adultery, sodomy, or buggery.' If it can be conclusively proven that a spouse had sexual intercourse with a person other than the one they married, a divorce may be awarded, because the standard of evidence is high. Another witness must support the offended spouse’s testimony, although an eyewitness is not necessary.

The final condition under which a divorce may be granted is 'conviction of a felony.' If a spouse is convicted of a felony and they are sentenced to a term in jail greater than or equal to a year then the offended spouse can file for a severance of marriage bonds.