The benefit of a divorce by publication is that a spouse’s signature is not required. In a divorce by publication, a legal notice is published in a Virginia newspaper for four weeks. The court also mails a copy of the order of publication to the spouse’s last known address. If the spouse does not respond by a certain date, the court will grant the divorce. A divorce by publication can be completed in as fast as 2.5 months.
Virginia’s Requirements for Divorce by Publication
There are three primary requirements to meet:
- You must currently be a Virginia resident and have lived in Virginia for the last six months.
- You must have been separated from your spouse for at least one year (Or, for six months if you have a written and signed separation agreement)
- Your spouse must currently reside in a state or country outside of Virginia (Or, the last known address of your spouse was in Virginia, and you are unable to locate your spouse through legitimate, diligent effort)
If your situation falls within these criteria, you are ready to pursue a divorce by publication order through one of two methods: a court appearance or an affidavit.
Divorce By Publication Through Simple Court Appearance
A court appearance is your opportunity to present your case for divorce by publication. This may include detailing your attempts to contact your spouse, so it is crucial that you exercise diligence in your attempts to do so.
Unlike beginning the process through an affidavit, court appearances have fewer required waiting periods for filing. You could be legally divorced within two-and-a-half months if your separation is uncontested, but you will want to make sure you are clear on all the facts of your situation prior to appearing in court.
Divorce By Publication Through Affidavit
Though seen as the slightly “slower” option, an uncontested order can be accomplished with an affidavit in around three-and-a-half months. This quick turnaround is indicative of the fairly simple process you will go through. Be sure to follow these steps:
- File your paperwork.
You will need an affidavit, order of publication, and your complaint for divorce.
- Include the necessary information within your affidavit.
Provide your spouse’s last known address and document all the methods you used to attempt contact.
- Sign your affidavit.
Your signature needs to be performed in the presence of a notary and under oath.
- Wait for your review.
The Clerk of Court will review your affidavit and other filings to confirm that everything is in-line with Virginia’s code. Following approval, the court will provide the newspaper with the order of publication.
Law Office of Michael Ephraim
It is important to note that your spouse may have the opportunity to petition the court even after the final decree of divorce. That is why you need expertise and experience on your side.
Michael Ephraim has been practicing law in the state of Virginia for more than 25 years. He will help you navigate the legal process and get the results you need — and fast. Contact us today with any inquiries, or quickly and easily begin your process of divorce by publication.
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