Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Divorce info for a marriage with no kids or property

Good Morning, I am looking for all information I can get on how to file a very speedy divorce for a marriage who has no property, assests or children. They have been seperated for atleast 2- 2 1/2 years and we have know Ideal where she went when they split. I know it has to be printed in a newspaper but I was wondering how long and what must be printed and how to go about doing it. What forms have to be used and what fees are required. What are the LEGAL steps and who do we have to see to get it done?Where do they get filed? How long does the process take?

Thanks for the Quick response.

Asked on 3/22/06, 11:23 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Homiller Jimison/Homiller, PLC

Re: Divorce info for a marriage with no kids or property

You must file a complaint in circuit court. Service by publication must be in a periodical of general circulation for a period of four consecutive weeks. You would be well served having an attorney assist you with this issue to ensure that you follow all the appropriate and required procedures.

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Answered on 3/22/06, 11:34 am

James Wilson James H. Wilson, Jr., Attorney & Counsellor at Law

Re: Divorce info for a marriage with no kids or property

Service by publication is governed by statutes in Virginia. These statutes must be followed closely as this is a form of constructive notice. You should consult with an attorney in your area before you attempt to serve a party by publication.

A court may decree the dissolution of the marriage with service by publication when the plaintiff has made diligent efforts to locate the defendant and has been unsuccessful and the defendantís location remains unknown or when the sheriff has attempted to serve the defendant at his or her last known address and has filed a return stating that the sheriff has been unable to serve the defendant. The court will not have the power to order spousal support or equitably divide the marital property of the parties if the defendant was served by publication because the court lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendant.

Upon proper application by affidavit, the clerk of court may enter an order of publication. There are three time requirements that may affect the progress of the case. First, the clerk must transmit the order to the newspaper, if required, and mail the order to the defendant at the defendantís last known address within twenty days after the entry of the order of publication. Second, the defendant must be given a date no less than 50 days after the order of publication is entered to appear and protect his or her interests. Third, if the order of publication is required to be advertised in a newspaper, then the ad must run once a week for four successive weeks.

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Answered on 3/22/06, 5:24 pm
Fred Kaufman Fredrick S. Kaufman, Esquire

Re: Divorce info for a marriage with no kids or property

The filing fee for a divorce in Virginia is $69. There are form books for a no fault divorce online or at a bookstore but I don't recommend them. Pay a lawyer to do it right. The publication will cost $300-500 depending on the newspaper. It has to be printed for 4 continuous weeks. It has to state the name of the case, the case number, the court address and the deadline the court gives you to receive an answer. Prior to this you have to file a request for the divorce court to allow you to obtain service by publication. You have to file an affidavit stating you have used your best efforts to find the spouse.

The person filing has to then take depositions with a witness and file that, the proof of publication, and a draft of a Final Decree with the clerk and set a court date for the judge to review the file and enter the divorce.

Ok. When you are ready to file you file the Bill of Complaint and the Motion to Publish. This might take 3-4 weeks for the Court to approve. Then you publish for 4 weeks, then you depose and set a hearing date on the Final Decree. Lets say it takes another four weeks to get a court date. SOunds like 10-16 weeks minimum to me.

A lawyer will make it all go quicker because delays will happen if you don't do it right the first time.

Good luck.

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Answered on 3/24/06, 6:15 am

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