How to File for Divorce in Henrico County, Virginia

By Anna Green
File, Divorce, Henrico County

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To file for divorce in Virginia's Henrico County, you need to show that you are a resident of the Commonwealth and file paperwork with the circuit court stating your reasons for divorcing. You will also need to formally present your case in front of the court, in person or through an attorney licensed in Virginia.

Establish that you are a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In order to have your case heard in the Circuit Court for Henrico County, you must show that you have been a Virginia resident for at least six months. You may be asked to provide documentation of this with a driver's license, state ID, lease, mortgage papers or utility bills.

Prove that you and your spouse maintained separate residences in Virginia. If your grounds for divorce are voluntary separation and do not have children with your spouse, you need to prove that you and your spouse lived separately, within the Commonwealth, for no less than six months before you filing for divorce. If you have minor children, you need to prove that you have lived separately for at least one year.

File a copy of your separation agreement with the Circuit Court of Henrico County. The court will need to see the terms under which you and your spouse voluntarily separated. This includes property settlement agreements, child custody and visitation arrangements and documentation regarding how you divided your joint bank accounts and debts during the separation period.

Show that your spouse committed adultery, abandonment or is involuntarily committed or incarcerated. If any of these situations apply to your marriage, you don't need to show any proof of separation.

Draft a divorce petition to file with the Clerk of the Court. The petition must list you and your spouse's street address in Henrico County, your grounds for divorce, the date that you first separated and all request for child support, alimony, child custody and visitation.

Serve the petition on your spouse using a private process server or sheriff. Your spouse will have 21 days to file a written response with the Circuit Court once he or she has been formally served.

Attend your hearing, and make your case before the Commissioner in Chancery. Both you and your spouse may subpoena witnesses and present documents at your divorce hearing.

Obtain your decree from the Commissioner in Chancery and file it with the Henrico County Clerk of the Court. If the commissioner recommends that your divorce be granted, the clerk will forward the decree to a judge, who will formally finalize your divorce.

About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.

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