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The length of time it takes to get a divorce varies from county to county, and is dependent upon the type of relief sought and type of hearing that is necessary.

An uncontested divorce will take the least amount of time and will be expedited by the court system under the new differentiated case management system.

The grounds for a divorce from the bonds of matrimony are: (1) living separate and apart for one year (or six months where there are no children and the parties have entered into a Property Settlement Agreement), (2) adultery, sodomy, or buggery, (3) conviction of a felony, (4) willful desertion or abandonment after a one year period, and (5) cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm after one year from the date of the cruel acts.

Willful desertion or abandonment: desertion is a breaking off of the marriage cohabitation and the intent to desert is required.

Once a year has passed from the date of the act of cruelty, you may ask the Court to merge the divorce into a divorce from the bonds of matrimony.

Separation: If you and your spouse have been living separate and apart, without any cohabitation and with the intent that the separation remains permanent, for more than one year, you can be granted a divorce from the bonds of matrimony.

If you and your spouse do not have children, or no minor children, and have entered into a Property Settlement Agreement that resolves all property, support, and other issues, then the time period required before filing for divorce is reduced from one year to six months.

Adultery, sodomy, or buggery: In Virginia, adultery is a misdemeanor and it constitutes grounds for divorce.If one spouse leaves the marital home because the other has committed acts that amount to cruelty, then the spouse that leaves is not guilty of desertion.That spouse may actually have grounds for a divorce based on cruelty or constructive desertion.Desertion does not always require one party to leave the marital home; it can be proven if one spouse completely abandons his or her marital duties to such an extent that the marriage is intolerable and impossible to continue.Another aspect of desertion is constructive desertion.At the end of a year of uninterrupted non-cohabitation and no sexual relations, either party is eligible to file for divorce.