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How to Separate While Living in the Same House

With the economy in the "you-know-what" and the real estate market continuing to circle the drain, it has become more and more common for husband and wife to continue to have to live together even though they don't want to be husband and wife anymore. So how do they ever get divorced if Virginia law requires a separation of at least six months, and if you have children, twelve months?

The Courts have begun to realize that you can live "separate and apart" while living under the same roof if certain conditions can be met. Some steps to take to satisfy the Court:

  • Complete sexual abstinence.
  • Establishment of 2 households for eating, cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping. The idea is you guys are roommates.
  • Stop wearing wedding rings.
  • Separate bedrooms.
  • Separate checking accounts.
  • Do not attend church together.
  • No gift-giving on holidays.
  • Make it known to close friends, relatives that you are separated.
  • Have a third party come to the home from time to time to observe the spouses' separate living quarters.
  • If you can, use separate entrances.

If you follow these steps you should be able to prove separation.

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In Virginia, a divorce may be granted on the no-fault grounds of living separate and apart without any cohabitation and without interruption for one year, or six months, if there are no children of the marriage.
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