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It depends, if the parties can negotiate and execute a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement that settles all matters between the parties, no litigation of the matters is necessary. That Agreement is a contract between the parties. In that incident the Court will enter a Final Decree of Divorce that incorporates the parties’ Separation and Property Settlement Agreement without the parties having to set foot into the court room.

Unfortunately, unless the other spouse committed adultery, proof of which is not easy in Virginia Courts, or is found guilty of a felony that carries a sentence of incarceration for one year or more, you will have to wait at least 6 months and a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement is required. If that short marriage resulted in a viable pregnancy a 12 months wait is required.

Divorce is an equitable proceeding and Spousal Support is often awarded to be paid by the spouse with the greater financial resources to the spouse with the lesser financial resources. The Court generally looks at the lifestyle of the parties prior to their separation, the ability of the payor spouse to pay, and the need of the receiving spouse. A spouse who committed adultery loses his or her right to an award of spousal support unless not to award spousal support to the party at fault would constitute a manifest injustice.

Generally spousal support can be amended. Virginia Statue allows to amend spousal support at the time of death of one of the parties, the remarriage of the receiving spouse, or when the receiving spouse has lived together with another adult in a relationship analogous to marriage for at least a year. Whether you can amend spousal support payments based on material changed circumstance depends on whether a separation and property settlement agreement was executed prior to entering the final decree and the wording in the agreement. If you executed such agreement prior to July 2018 and your agreement does not specifically state material change in circumstance as a bases to amend spousal support you more than likely will only be able to amend spousal support based on death by either party, remarriage, and cohabitation for one year or more.

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