Intentionally leaving the marriage with the desire for permanent separation against the wishes of the other spouse is called Desertion in Virginia. Willful desertion is a legal ground for divorce in Virginia. One must file a Bill of Complaint to formally initiate the process of divorce in Virginia. You can file the complaint yourself or hire an attorney to draft it for you. Your Bill of Complaint must include the date and place of your marriage, and a statement stating that you both are 18 years of age or older and at least one of you has resided in Virginia for six months, whether you can support children, and the date you last lived together. The complaint must also claim abandonment meaning your spouse has deserted the marital residence for at least one year and has no intention of returning. Finally, the complaint should ask the court to grant for a divorce and award any other remedy like property, spousal support or child custody.
If you are thinking about leaving the marital residence, consult a Virginia divorce lawyer first. Even if you have the reason to leave, removing yourself from the marital residence can have potentially negative impacts on a custody determination of the child or prevent you from having access to important financial records and documents kept in the home.
For a divorce from the bonds of marriage, desertion requires showing a intentional separation by one spouse without cause or justification and intent to remain separated apart for 1 year. Desertion in Virginia 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 an extent that the marriage is intolerable and impossible to continue.
If your spouse has deliberately left your marriage, you have the right to file for a fault-based divorce in Virginia. Desertion in Virginia divorce law can be proved using one of the three ways:
- The deserted spouse was not at fault to justify the abandonment.
- The deserting spouse left against the wishes of the deserted spouse.
- The deserting spouse’s intent was to end their marriage
The fault-based option is the traditional conception of divorce, and is generally contested and adversarial. It is common for one spouse to blame the other in the breakdown of a marriage. It requires one of the parties to establish “grounds” for the divorce in Virginia. This is to say that the defendant has committed some marital misconduct that explains the divorce.
If you need the help of a divorce lawyer in Virginia with a desertion case in Fairfax, Prince William (Manassas), Fauquier (Warrenton), Loudoun (Leesburg), Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg), Chesterfield, Henrico, Arlington, Richmond, Alexandria, Warren (Front Royal), Clarke, Shenandoah, call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a lawyer about your options.
If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. divorce attorney in Virginia about a desertion case, call us at 855-696-3348. B