What You Need To Know About Separation

Technically, there is no such thing as legal separation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. But there is a status in between marriage and divorce that couples seeking divorce pass through. One reason for this status is to put boundaries between the two parties so that one cannot, for instance, incur debts that the other party will be liable for.

The requirement also has the effect of discouraging impulsive breakups. Virginia law requires that couples seeking marriage dissolution must go through a period of separation before they are allowed to file for no-fault divorce. The period of separation is six months for couples who have no children and have signed a written Separation and Property Settlement Agreement (PSA), and 12 months if they have children or have not worked out such an agreement.

It Is Possible To Separate Without Getting A Divorce

You can separate legally without obtaining a divorce. Some people do this for religious reasons. Some do it for financial reasons. There are even some who separate and — with the economy still shaky — continue to live together, to conserve resources, but to be legally separated. Most couples don't do this, of course.

Chesterfield County Legal Separation Lawyer

The family lawyers at Coates & Davenport, P.C., have helped many couples pass through the period of separation. We can help you draft a workable PSA that addresses and resolves the critical issues of property division, spousal support, child support, child custody and visitation.

When these issues cannot be easily resolved, it is sometimes necessary to go to court to resolve the matter — exactly what you were hoping to avoid. Our lawyers are skilled litigators and can help you with this as well.

Need to know more about legal separation? Call the Richmond separation agreements attorneys at Coates & Davenport, P.C., at 804-729-5537, or write to us using this online form.


Our team of family law attorneys is a diverse group of experienced and compassionate professionals:
T. Michael Blanks, Jr.
Thomas F. Coates, III
Tammy L. Sossei
Carrie Willis Witter