In civil cases of a domestic relations nature, the Circuit Court has exclusive jurisdiction in divorce and annulment matters, including property settlement/equitable distribution of marital assets. Matters involving child support, custody, and visitation may or may not originate in the circuit court, depending on various factors.
- To obtain a divorce in Virginia, you or your spouse must be a resident of Virginia for a minimum of six months prior to filing for a divorce, Virginia Code § 20-97.
- 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 when you file for a divorce, Virginia Code § 20-91.
- If there are children from the marriage, you must be separated a minimum of one year before you file for a divorce, Virginia Code § 20-91.
- In Virginia, Separation Agreements are only filed AFTER a divorce case has been filed with the Court.
- The information provided herein is not intended to be legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such.
- You are strongly encouraged to hire an attorney.
- If you choose to represent yourself (pro se), you will be expected to follow the same procedures as an attorney.
- Please remember the Clerk’s Office staff are unable to give legal advice. They cannot assist you by answering legal questions or questions regarding any forms, etc. They are prohibited by state law from giving you legal advice or assistance. Please do not ask them.
- For more information, or for answers to specific questions, please contact an attorney.
- Virginia Judicial System Court Self-Help Resources for Self-Represented Litigants
- Virginia State Bar
- Southwest Virginia Legal Aid