Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia

Q: Can my spouse file for divorce & choose NOT to incorporate signed/notarized PSA?

My spouse & I have been separated for a year now, we have 1 minor child. We have a signed/notarized PSA and now my spouse wants to file for divorce now and not have the PSA included. The signed/notarized PSA states we sell the house and pay all outstanding bills with the equity. Spouse now doesn't want to sell house and has changed the locks on the marital home. What can I do if my spouse does not want to agree to the PSA now? Do I have to contest the divorce?

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

A: A spouse served with a Complaint for Divorce in Virginia has 21 days to file a responsive pleading. Typically, if the defendant spouse did not agree to the allegations in the Complaint, the responsive pleading would be an Answer and Counterclaim, starting a contested divorce case.

It is very difficult, but not impossible, to set aside a signed, written separation agreement. A valid agreement can be enforced just as any other contract can be enforced, and if incorporated into a court order, through the contempt process.

Anyone facing separation and divorce in Virginia should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer.

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