Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia

Q: I filed for divorce and the judge said doesn't meet statutory requirements. Final decree has not been entered

final decree has not been entered due to an incomplete filing and has not been reviewed by chambers

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
T. Augustus Claus pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: your divorce petition does not meet statutory requirements, it usually means you haven't satisfied certain legal criteria. You'll need to review the specific issues raised by the judge and amend your filing to comply with the statute in question.

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

A: Virginia Circuit Court judges use law clerks to review the uncontested divorce filings. The law clerks are typically relatively recent graduates of law schools, who work as clerks as their first job out of law school. They review the file before submitting it to a judge for his or her final review and signature.

Some divorce cases filed by pro se filers are rejected by the clerks. The Virginia State Bar publishes a pamphlet on do-it-yourself uncontested divorces. Some divorce filers do not respect the requirements for getting a divorce in Virginia, and are so anxious to get the divorce decree that they bypass the one-year waiting period before filing, or the requirement of actually living separate and apart.

The solution for those folks is to consult with an attorney. The judge and law clerk will not instruct filers on how to fix a faulty divorce. The deputy clerks and assistants at the courthouse are not lawyers, and are not allowed to give legal advice. If you want something done right, hire a lawyer.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.