Once you decide you want a divorce, you may wish to get it over and done with as soon as possible. However, that might not always be the best way.
Some couples head straight to litigation to try to prove that the other person is at fault for the breakup of the marriage. Emotions can get in the way when your split is fresh, making the process longer and more expensive. Another option is to only file for divorce once you have an agreement in place to cover things such as property division and child custody.
A separation agreement can have significant benefits
A separation agreement is a legal document where you outline the decisions you reach with your spouse. Once you have one, you can then file for a no-fault divorce which avoids the need to air your dirty linen in public as you argue about who did what or said what. It reduces the need for expensive court time and can help keep your divorce details private.
Finding a way to settle matters that both parties are happy with can take time. It is easier to do so when you have a little distance from each other. In Virginia, a no-fault divorce requires that you “have lived separate and apart without any cohabitation and without interruption for one year.” Having a separation agreement can reduce the time apart needed to six months, as long as you do not have children under 18.
There are several ways to handle your divorce. Seek legal help to understand more about the various options. The important thing is to find the best method for your unique situation.