Washington, DC asked in Divorce for Virginia

Q: Does living back together and temporarily reconciling reset the divorce?

I have been separated for 3 years. Extended due to pandemic and custody.

I moved back in August. Does that have any effect on the proceeding if one of us wants to reset everything?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: The separation required for a no fault divorce in Virginia must be continuous and uninterrupted. The legally-required separation means the parties are no longer living together as husband and wife. At least one of the parties must intend that the separation is permanent, and that intention must also exist for the period and be continuous. The grounds for divorce must exist at the time the divorce case is filed. A well-drafted complaint for divorce typically includes an allegation that no reconciliation is probable.

If the parties resume cohabitation as husband and wife, the required separation would have to start all over again. The purpose of the required separation is to ensure the marriage is actually over, and the separation is not just the result of a temporary discontent or restlessness of one of the parties. The policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia is to promote marriage, not to make divorce easy.

Anyone contemplating divorce in Virginia should consult with an experienced divorce lawyer.

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