Obtaining a Divorce
- Reference VA Code § 20-89 through 20-124 Opens a New Window. for information on how to obtain a divorce in Virginia.
- To obtain a divorce in Virginia, either you or your spouse must be a resident of Virginia for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
- For a "no fault" or uncontested divorce, if there are no children from the marriage, you must be separated for a minimum of six months and have a written property settlement agreement before you may file for divorce. If there are children from the marriage, you must be separated a minimum of one year before you may file for divorce. If any child or children of the marriage is under the age of 18, both the husband and the wife must complete the Families in Transition (FITS) Program. To ensure parties have access to mandatory Parent Education seminars during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of P.E. seminar providers are shifting their in-person classes to live webinars.
- In Virginia, you do not file a separation agreement with the court, unless you wish the court to approve it as part of the divorce proceeding.
Choosing to go Pro Se
- "Pro se" means that a party to a lawsuit is representing himself or herself. All persons involved in divorce cases are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney so that the legal proceedings and the effect of legal documents and orders can be fully explained to you. Furthermore, at trial the same rules will apply as if you had an attorney, and the Judge is not permitted to help you in presenting your case.
- If you choose to represent yourself, you will be expected to follow the same procedures as an attorney.
- For information regarding filing for a divorce and help in preparing the necessary forms, visit valegalaid.org/divorce Opens a New Window. . NOTE: our staff cannot assist you with navigating this website nor are they able to give you legal advice.
- Addendum For Protected Identifying Information (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Civil Cover Sheet (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Fits Program Opens a New Window.
- Name Change (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Notice of Change of Address (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- Civil Motions Praecipe Opens a New Window.
- Waiver of Future Service (PDF) Opens a New Window.
- VS-4 form - available in the Clerk’s Office at the Civil counter or at the local Health Department.
- VS-4 Instruction Guide (PDF) Opens a New Window.
Loudoun Circuit Court is not a forms court. The initial Divorce Complaint must be drafted.
The following fees are associated with filing a divorce case:
- A filing fee of $86 is required to open your case.
- A $12 service fee if the complainant wishes to have a defendant that resides in Virginia served by the Sheriff. If the defendant does not reside in the State of Virginia, or if the complainant does not wish to have the document served by a sheriff, the complainant must make arrangements to have the documents served on the defendant. This may be accomplished by using a private process server; or if the defendant is willing to accept service, having the subpoena issued to the complainant so that the complainant may arrange for the defendant to accept service before a notary public or execute a waiver of notice.
- If the wife wishes to resume her maiden name, a separate name change order must be submitted, and there will be an additional recording fee payable when the final decree of divorce is entered. This fee is $26 for up to ten pages. The $26 fee must be a separate check or money order, made payable to "Clerk of Circuit Court" and paid to the Recording Division after the order is signed.
All fees are payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court by cash, check or money order. Do not include filing fees in the same check as your recording fee for the Name Change Order.
*Please note: Court personnel are prohibited by law from giving legal advice. If you need assistance or advice, please see our Legal Aid and Links page.