Uncontested Divorce in Virginia: A Comprehensive Guide to Cost and Process (2024)


Navigating the complexities of divorce can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding the costs involved. In this comprehensive guide, we break down the expenses associated with an uncontested divorce in Virginia, shedding light on the filing fees, legal charges, and essential information you need to know.

Filing Fees and Basic Costs

The fundamental expense for an uncontested divorce lies in the court fees for filing the necessary papers. In Virginia, the filing fee typically hovers around $91, though it may vary slightly between different counties. Utilize Virginia’s Circuit Court Civil Filing Fee Calculator to estimate the fees specific to your filing location.

Additional Fees

While uncontested divorces are generally more cost-effective, there are additional fees to consider. A $12 Sheriff fee may apply for serving papers to the Respondent. Select women may incur a $21 fee for recording their resumed maiden name.

Legal Representation Costs

Understanding the costs associated with legal representation is crucial. On average, divorce lawyers in Virginia charge between $280 and $330 per hour. Total costs for legal services can range from $12,000 to $14,000, with variations based on the complexity of the case.

Attorney Fees Responsibility

In a Virginia divorce, each party typically covers their own attorney’s fees. However, there are instances where one spouse may be required to cover the court costs and attorney fees for the other party, a determination made by the judge.

Property Division

Equitable distribution, not equal division, governs the splitting of marital property in Virginia. The court considers each spouse’s financial situation and assets to ensure a fair distribution.

Alimony in Virginia

Under Virginia law, spouses have financial responsibilities towards each other. Alimony may be awarded until the final Decree in Divorce is granted, with considerations for supporting each other financially.

Separation Period Requirements

Virginia law allows for no-fault divorce based on either living “separate and apart” for one year or six months with a separation agreement in place, provided there are no minor children involved.

Grounds for Divorce

To file for divorce in Virginia, one must establish "grounds" for divorce. Fault grounds include adultery, felony, cruelty, and desertion. Alternatively, spouses may file for a "no-fault divorce" after separation.

Duration of Marriage and Alimony

The duration of the marriage plays a role in determining spousal support. Generally, the longer the marriage, the longer the presumption of support. For marriages lasting 1-5 years, spousal support is unlikely.

Dating During Separation

Under Virginia law, spouses are considered married until the divorce is finalized. While physically separated, legally, dating during separation is allowed.


In conclusion, understanding the intricacies of an uncontested divorce in Virginia is crucial for informed decision-making. From filing fees to legal representation costs, this comprehensive guide provides a detailed overview to empower individuals going through this challenging process.

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Note: The content provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable to consult with a qualified attorney for personalized guidance on divorce proceedings in Virginia.

Uncontested Divorce in Virginia: A Comprehensive Guide to Cost and Process (2024)
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