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Frugal Legal Services: UNCONTESTED Divorce and Step-Parent Adoption


frugal [froo-guh l] adjective: economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful.
synonyms: thrifty, chary, provident, careful, prudent, penny-wise, scrimping, cheap, miserly, scotch, penny-pinching.

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Frugal Legal Services: UNCONTESTED Divorce and Step-Parent Adoption


frugal [froo-guh l] adjective: economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful.
synonyms: thrifty, chary, provident, careful, prudent, penny-wise, scrimping, cheap, miserly, scotch, penny-pinching.

Choose from among our current online frugal legal services® below to get started today! Call (757) 745-3454 or (757) 363-0077 with any questions.

*Please be advised that in the event your spouse declines to cooperate in signing the separation agreement or the biological non-custodial parent declines to execute his/her consent to adoption, there are no refunds provided for unpaid filing fees by our office. We cover the cost of filing fees for matters we file on behalf of our clients; they are NOT a component of the flat fee our clients pay for legal services. We bill our flat rate fees for work performed and cover the filing fees separately after the separation agreement or step-parent adoption paperwork is signed/notarized and returned to our office for filing.  Any refunds issued are prorated based on work performed by our office at an hourly rate of $300.00. With this in mind, please make certain your spouse or biological non-custodial parent will cooperate before proceeding. If you would prefer to work through the agreement process separately in a potential divorce matter because you are unsure whether your spouse will cooperate, we do offer flat rate fee services to draft those documents as well. Please visit our PRODUCTS page for more information or call (757) 745-3454 to speak with our office before proceeding.


what is frugal legal services®?

Burroughs Law Office, P.C. is committed to providing affordable legal services to residents of Virginia, so much so that we created a new and innovative online product offering, Frugal Legal Services®. Frugal Legal Services® is a set of online legal services that cover no fault/uncontested divorces, step-parent adoptions, adult name changes, and child custody/visitation by agreement. All of these frugal legal services® are managed by our attorney and cover everything from start to finish for one very low flat rate fee.

Whether you're seeking freedom from an unhealthy relationship in a dead-end divorce or are anxious to adopt your step-son or daughter, Frugal Legal Services® has you covered. We make the process nice and easy for a fraction of the cost you'd pay most law firms in Virginia. Since 2006, we have helped families through some of the toughest times imaginable. We've been a part of some rather remarkable events as well. Our commitment to excellence in everything we do carries through to our online legal services. We currently offer online legal services for no fault/uncontested divorces, step-parent adoptions, and adult name changes. We are working diligently on offering other online legal services throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. In every instance, we streamline the process so we can pass along savings to you. There's no compromise in quality, just in price. We keep things simple, easy, and affordable.


the online divorce: Our most popular online frugal legal service!

We take the 3 Step Divorce in Virginia to the next level.

  • You pay one low, flat-rate fee for your Frugal Legal Services® no fault/uncontested divorce in Virginia. Your fee even includes the court filing fee!
  • An attorney drafts all of your no fault divorce paperwork.
  • An attorney files and finalizes your no fault/uncontested divorce for you.

That's right. An attorney handles your Virginia no fault/uncontested divorce from start to finish. Are you worried about online only outfits without a physical office? Well, Frugal Legal Services is an online product offered by a reputable family law practice, Burroughs Law Office, P.C., which is physically located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Burroughs Law Office, P.C. handles complex family law matters just like any other law firm. To keep our fees low, however, we handle all Frugal Legal Services® online.

A Frugal Legal Services ®no fault/uncontested divorce is not some 3 step, do-it-yourself, online divorce form papermill. It is a comprehensive attorney managed product offered by a Virginia divorce law firm! The average Frugal Legal Services® divorce costs just $400.00 (check out our fees, everything is included including your filing fee) and is completed in as few as 2-6 weeks. In case you're wondering, $400.00 is the equivalent of only $310.56 for the divorce by a Virginia divorce attorney and $89.44 for the filing fee. If you already have a valid separation agreement, the total cost can be as low as $350.00 without children! As is the case with all of our online services, we pay your court filing fee if we file on your behalf!

It's online, cheap, easy, and Dare we say, "affordable."

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Is it for me? Online Legal Solutions


Frugal Legal Services® allows couples to divorce for a fraction of the cost. Our short survey helps you determine whether Frugal Legal Services is an option for your no fault divorce needs in Virginia.

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Is it for me? Online Legal Solutions


Frugal Legal Services® allows couples to divorce for a fraction of the cost. Our short survey helps you determine whether Frugal Legal Services is an option for your no fault divorce needs in Virginia.

Is a Frugal Legal No Fault/uncontested Divorce in Virginia for me?

Are you unhappy in your current marriage? Does the thought of spending thousands of dollars on a contested divorce in Virginia make your stomach churn? Are you looking for a cheap divorce in Virginia? How about a quick divorce in Virginia? You may be wondering if that is even possible. What about all the Virginia divorce forms? Who will draft and file those in your case? You? Will you have to go to court and stand before a judge? We are sure you have a lot of unanswered questions about no fault divorce in Virginia. Wouldn't you prefer to have someone else handle your no fault divorce in Virginia for you? (And by "someone else," we mean a professional.) If so, a Frugal Legal no fault/uncontested divorce may the answer. A Frugal Legal no fault/uncontested divorce is a low cost, online divorce solution available where at least one party resides or is stationed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

A Frugal Legal no fault/uncontested online divorce really is divorce made simple for less.
— Attorney Lawrence D. Burroughs II

It should go without saying that we handle same-sex divorce like any other uncontested divorce in Virginia. In fact, the process is no different (not a bit, really). Assuming you meet the same criteria, you are eligible to take advantage of Frugal Legal Services as well. We encourage members of the LGBT community to keep things simple, just like any other couple we represent. Simply order your divorce on our PRODUCTS page and call (757) 745-3454 with any questions. If no one answers right away, please leave a message and our attorney will call you back personally.



If you are ready to divorce and have already ironed everything out, you are nearly there. We can draft all of your no fault Virginia divorce documents for you. For the cost of what most divorce papermills charge to let you do-it-yourself, Frugal Legal Services can take your information, draft your divorce papers (including a marital and property settlement agreement), and file and finalize your divorce for you. A Frugal Legal no fault divorce is not a simple do-it-yourself uncontested divorce outfit. We do it for you for less!

If you have any questions or concerns about the process, just call us at (757) 745-3454. If no one is available to answer your call and you leave a message, we will return your call quickly. It's that simple!

Not quite ready for a no fault divorce in VA? Let us protect you by drafting your separation agreement today!

Perhaps you're not quite ready for a no fault divorce in Virginia. Say, for instance, you are just beginning your 6 or 12 month period of separation and are in need of a separation agreement. Well, you're in luck. We cover that too! Just order a separation agreement directly from our PRODUCTS page. Depending on your circumstances, once your information is received and you've paid as little as $175.00, a licensed VA divorce attorney can draft your marital and property settlement agreement and e-mail it to you within 24 hours. If it's convenient, you are welcome to come into the office to sign your separation agreement in the presence of our notary public at no additional charge. When your 6 or 12 month period of separation is concluded, simply come back to this site to proceed with a Frugal Legal no fault divorce in Virginia. For a discounted fee, a licensed VA divorce attorney can draft all of your divorce papers for you and file on your behalf. It really is that simple.

If we draft your separation agreement today because you are not able to proceed with a no fault divorce at this time, we will discount your Frugal Legal no fault VA divorce by $50.00! Simply let us know you have an existing separation agreement when ordering your Frugal Legal no fault divorce in VA. Please keep in mind that you will need to provide us with an original of your separation agreement so we can file it along with your other divorce papers at the time of filing. A Frugal Legal no fault/uncontested divorce in Virginia starts at just $350.00 before your discount is applied. This flat fee covers your entire no fault divorce in Virginia from start to finish. We even pay your court filing fees if we file on your behalf. $350.00 is the equivalent of only $260.56 for the divorce by a Virginia divorce attorney and $89.44 for the filing fee. Other firms may add those fees on at the end, raising their costs to well over $400.00-2,500.00 for a basic no fault divorce in Virginia! That is not the case with Frugal Legal Services. As long as the information you provide is truthful and you and your spouse fully cooperate, you will not pay more than your flat fee to finalize your no fault divorce in Virginia with Frugal Legal Services.

Do I need a separation agreement?

If you are not able to file for divorce and are getting along well enough with your spouse to reach an agreement, then the short answer is YES! At our cost, it is extremely difficult not to recommend that you have one. In fact, with Frugal Legal Services, it is a required element. WE WILL NOT FILE WITHOUT A VALID SEPARATION AGREEMENT. Whether you're waiting 6 or 12 months to finish out your period of marital separation, a separation is generally a good idea anyway. As you can imagine, anything can happen during 6 or 12 months of separation. Why not iron everything out now? The more time passes, the more likely it may be that you and your spouse will continue to drift further apart. Without a separation agreement, if fault grounds for divorce do exist, your spouse may change his or her mind and decide a no fault divorce isn't the way to go. Adultery, cruelty, and desertion can quickly replace no fault grounds when emotion take over. Equitable distribution (VA property division), spousal support (alimony), child custody, visitation, and child support may come into play as well. Your once cheap no fault divorce may no longer be an option. Contested divorces in Virginia can easily cost into the tens of thousands and take one to two years or more to complete. None of this even takes into account the emotional toll divorce plays on you and your family.

The question you should be asking yourself is: Why wouldn’t I sign a separation agreement?

You can either spend your hard earned money on a divorce and put loads of money in the pockets of your divorce attorney, or you can save your money for yourself or your children. Save your money if you can. If you're months away from qualifying for a Frugal Legal no fault VA divorce, do yourself a favor and have a licensed Virginia divorce attorney draft your separation agreement today. The small upfront cost is far less than the cost of a potentially contested divorce in Virginia. If, on the other hand, you are ready for a Frugal Legal no fault divorce today, please keep in mind that a separation agreement is included with your Frugal Legal no fault divorce in Virginia. That's how committed we are to keeping things simple.

Okay, so you're ready for a Frugal Legal no fault divorce in Virginia. Well then, read on!

To determine whether a Frugal Legal no fault Virginia divorce is a good fit for you, start by asking whether you qualify for an no fault divorce in Virginia. First, take a look at the requirements for a no fault divorce under Section 20-91(9)(a) of the Virginia Code.

It states that a divorce may be granted:

  • on the application of either party if and when the parties have lived separate and apart without any cohabitation and without interruption for one year. No separation agreement is required here, however, it is highly recommended.
  • if the parties have entered into a written and signed separation agreement and there are no minor children born or adopted of the parties, a divorce may be granted if and when the parties have lived separately and apart without cohabitation and without interruption for 6 months.

Are you able to answer YES to the following questions? If so, a low cost online Frugal Legal no fault divorce in Virginia may be in your future! Frugal Legal Services can help you accomplish a fast uncontested, no fault divorce in Virginia.

  • Do you want to save a lot of money on your divorce? A no fault divorce in Virginia can range from several hundreds of dollars into the thousands. Many online divorce paper mills and firms try to rope you in with a low flat fee and then pile on court costs and fees for all sorts of services that should be included. That's not our game. We provide a simple all inclusive no fault divorce for less!
  • Are you the type of person that likes to keep things simple? Divorce papers in Virginia can be thoroughly confusing. Even if you are someone who likes to "do it yourself," you will appreciate the simplicity of the Frugal Legal process. Simply pay the flat fee, fill out our online questionnaire, and let us get to work for you. We don't leave you holding a bunch of paperwork at the end. We draft and file your Virginia divorce papers for you. When we're finished, the only paperwork you should be holding is your final decree of divorce.
  • Are you and your spouse over the age of 18 years? To qualify for our Frugal Legal no fault divorce option, you and your spouse must be 18 years or older.
  • If you have children born or adopted of the marriage, have you and your spouse lived separately and apart, without cohabitation and without interruption, for a period of 12 months? If there are no children born or adopted of the marriage, have you and your spouse lived separately and apart, without cohabitation and without interruption, for a period of 6 months? If you have not met either requirement, we strongly encourage parties to consider entering into a separation agreement as soon as possible. This can often help avoid costly legal battles down the line should things start to fall apart.
  • Are you able to testify that neither you nor your spouse is known to be pregnant? While we may still be able to help, Frugal Legal Services is not an option where the either party is pregnant. Please call for details.
  • Are you and your spouse of sound mind? Try to resist the temptation to tell us what you really think. You and your spouse may seem crazy at times, but the majority of people really are of sound mind. If either of you is in a mental or penal institution, the court will require that a Guardian Ad Litem be appointed to represent the person under a disability. While a Frugal Legal no fault divorce isn't available in these cases, we may be able to help. Please call (757) 745-3454 today to set up a time to speak with a Virginia Divorce Attorney.
  • Have either you or your spouse been a bona fide resident of and domiciled in Virginia for the preceding 6 months? If no, have you or your spouse been a member of the armed forced of the United States for and stationed in Virginia for the preceding 6 months? This is a simple jurisdictional threshold question. If neither of you can claim to be a resident of Virginia (or stationed here if active duty military) then divorce is not an option for you here in Virginia.
  • Have all marital issues been resolved by agreement? THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE. A truly uncontested, no fault divorce is one where there are absolutely no issues in controversy. If there is a single unresolved issue, then your divorce is NOT uncontested. All matters concerning children (child custody, visitation, child support), spousal support, and equitable distribution must be resolved by agreement in order to proceed with a Frugal Legal no fault divorce in Virginia. If any of these matters are unresolved, please call (757) 745-3454 today to set up a time to speak with a Virginia Divorce Lawyer.
You can save A LOT of money by resolving things on your own terms. Take matters into your own hands. Save money, if you can.
— Attorney Lawrence D. Burroughs II
  • Have you and your spouse signed a separation agreement? If not, as a part of a Frugal Legal no fault VA divorce, we can draft a separation agreement for you at no extra cost. PLEASE NOTE: To use Frugal Legal Services, we require that you and your spouse proceed with a separation agreement. We cannot offer this product offering to you at this cost without it. If our office location is convenient for you, we have a Notary Public on hand to notarize your agreement for FREE. All you would need to do is call to coordinate a time to come in and sign.
  • Will your spouse cooperate by signing an agreement (if you don't already have one) and a waiver to proceed with an uncontested no fault divorce? Again, you must be willing to proceed with a separation agreement to utilize Frugal Legal Services. If your spouse is not willing to sign a separation agreement or waiver, you should not proceed with Frugal Legal Services. Please call (757) 745-3454 to set to speak a Virginia divorce lawyer today.

What are some other grounds for divorce in Virginia?

For starters, there are two different types of divorce in Virginia. Virginia recognizes a divorce from bed and board (a divorce a mensa et thoro) and an absolute divorce (a divorce a vinculo matrimonii). While there may be no "legal" separation in Virginia, a divorce from bed and board is about as close as it gets. It is a partial divorce under which the parties are legally separated from each other but are not permitted to remarry. This type of divorce requires proof of fault and is not available based on a period of separation. An absolute divorce, on the other hand, is final and complete.

The grounds for divorce vary a bit with Virginia's two different options, but there is a lot of overlap as well. For instance, a divorce from bed and board recognizes the following fault grounds for divorce in VA: willful desertion and cruelty. In addition to including desertion and cruelty, an absolute divorce also recognizes: no fault divorce; adultery, sodomy, or buggery; and the conviction of a felony coupled with incarceration. Divorce matters are resolved by a Virginia divorce court called the Circuit Court. Even in cases where legitimate fault based gourds for divorce exist, a simple no fault divorce in Virginia may be the way to go. In most fault based divorce matters, the cost of divorce in VA may seem borderline unconscionable. At least it feels that way. If a Virginia no fault divorce is an option in your case, it is certainly something worth considering. For more information, consider reading the following article published by the Virginia State Bar titled Divorce in Virginia. If you are still on the fence or are faced with an unreasonable spouse, call us today to speak with a licensed divorce attorney in Virginia.

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Divorce Q&A: No Fault Uncontested Divorce in Virginia


20 Common Virginia No Fault Divorce Questions Answered. This shouldn't be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice for your situation, we provide discounted hourly consultations with a licensed divorce attorney to all Frugal Legal Services clients.

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Divorce Q&A: No Fault Uncontested Divorce in Virginia


20 Common Virginia No Fault Divorce Questions Answered. This shouldn't be construed as legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice for your situation, we provide discounted hourly consultations with a licensed divorce attorney to all Frugal Legal Services clients.

A quick game of 20 divorce questions?

The information contained in this site and the following 20 Virginia Divorce Questions Answered, in particular, are an advertisement providing general information only, and are no substitute for legal advice from a qualified Virginia divorce lawyer. Only a signed representation agreement and fully paid flat fee with Frugal Legal Services creates an attorney-client relationship. Please click below to expand each question and reveal our response.

1. What are the basics of marriage and divorce in Virginia?

Previously, a marriage in Virginia was defined as being between one man and one woman. In fact, Virginia went so far as to strictly prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex. Section 20-45.2 of the Virginia Code stated that a marriage between persons of the same sex was prohibited. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction was void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage were void and unenforceable. Void means Virginia treated a same sex marriage as if doesn't even exist. Today, that bold and arguably ignorant position is no more. If you are in a same-sex marriage and are seeking a simple divorce, Frugal Legal Services can help. We have experience in finalizing same-sex divorces and treat them like any other.

Other prohibited marriages include marriages entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage; marriages between closely related relatives; marriages where either of the parties lack capacity to consent because of mental incapacity or infirmity; and common law marriages. Common law marriages are, however, recognized if they were entered into in a jurisdiction other than Virginia that recognizes them as valid.

A marriage may be granted as long as two things take place. The parties must apply for and be issued a marriage license and they must take part in a civil or religious solemnization ceremony. Despite what you have heard or may believe, a blood test is not required in Virginia. A marriage license for a Virginia marriage is issued by the Clerk of Court in a Virginia Circuit Court. There is no statuary waiting period for marriage after a divorce is granted unless remarriage is specifically prohibited by a court. There are, however, some things to consider before rushing back into marriage so quickly. If you're in this position, please review our response to this topic under our No Fault Divorce Frequently Asked Questions. A marriage license is valid for up to 60 days after it is issued and there is no waiting period required between application and issuance.

The ceremony can be performed by a minister of any religious denomination authorized by a Circuit Court in Virginia. Virginia cities/counties also appoint persons who are eligible to perform civil marriage ceremonies. No witnesses are required at either type of ceremony. Once the ceremony is complete, the minister or other marriage officiant must complete and sign the Marriage Register and Marriage Return. Both are subsequently returned to the Clerk of Court who issued the license within 5 days. If this is not done within 5 days, there will be no record of the marriage. See you local clerk's office for further details and/or clarification.

Of course, if you're reading this, you are likely well past the point of getting married. When contemplating a separation or divorce, the first step is to determine is whether it will be contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce in Virginia is simply a divorce where there are no marital issues in dispute. You may be wondering, is this even an option? The several thousand dollar question is: Can you and your spouse resolve your marital issues on your own or do you prefer or need court intervention? In either case, you are permitted to proceed with or without a Virginia divorce attorney. A person proceeding without an attorney is referred to as a pro se litigant. Whether you choose to hire an attorney is completely up to you.

Once that determination is made, one of the parties files a complaint for divorce with the Clerk of Court for a Circuit Court within the Commonwealth of Virginia. In an uncontested case, the other party signs a waiver or accepts service of process. This is where a Frugal Legal no fault divorce can be a real money saver for you. Frugal Legal Services provides a cheap online divorce option in Virginia. In a contested case, the other party files an answer among his or her responsive pleadings. If you find yourself in this position, whatever you do, do something. Doing nothing can cost you everything. You have only 21 calendar days to respond (not just business days, weekends and holidays are included in your count). If you fail to respond, then the court will be in the unfortunate position of deciding a case with just one side of the story. Call our office for details on how we can help.

2. What are the residency requirements to file for divorce in Virginia?

Residency in VA divorce cases is controlled by Section 20-97 of the Virginia Code. Only one spouse is required to be a bona fide resident and domiciliary of the Commonwealth of Virginia at the time of filing the complaint for divorce and for the immediately preceding 6 months. This is true whether the matter is a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, based on fault grounds or no fault grounds in Virginia.

A member of the United States armed forces may also qualify as a resident if he or she has been stationed or resided in and has lived for a period of 6 months or more in Virginia next preceding the commencement of a suit for divorce. He or she would be presumed to be domiciled in and to have been a bona fide resident of Virginia during this time. This includes being stationed or residing upon a ship having its home port in Virginia or at an air, naval, or military base located within Virginia.

Taking things even further, any member of the United States armed forces or foreign service officer who at the time the suit for divorce is commenced is, or immediately preceding the suit was, stationed in any territory or foreign country and was domiciled in Virginia for the 6 month period immediately preceding, is deemed to have been a bona fide resident and domiciliary of Virginia during the 6 months preceding the commencement of a suit for divorce.

As you can tell, there are a number of ways to qualify as a resident and domiciliary of Virginia. If either one of you qualifies as a resident and all other conditions for a no fault divorce exist, a Frugal Legal no fault divorce may be a viable option for you. Just click here to get started whenever you're ready!

3. What if we reside under the same roof but are separated?

Establishing separate residences under the same roof is possible in some cases, but extremely difficult to pull off. Actually doing it is one thing; proving it is yet another. Virginia requires that the parties to a divorce live separately and apart without cohabitation and without interruption for a statutorily prescribed period of time (1 year with children or without children and no separation or 6 months with no children and a validly executed separation agreement) with at least one of of the parties intending to end the marriage. This intent element is challenged by the very fact that a married couple is living under the same roof. Essentially, by living this way, a married couple is broadcasting to the world that they are still husband and wife. How is anyone on the outside supposed to know you aren't a happily married couple behind closed doors? Throw children into the mix and it gets even more difficult.

As a general rule, married couples seeking to establish a formal separation under the same roof should be doing the following (and then some): no romantic or sexual intimacy; maintain separate bedrooms and living quarters; no shared meals, money, or household chores; whenever possible, parent separately; no more socializing together; use separate entrances, if feasible; and stop attending church together. Honestly, the list goes on and on. These are just a few of the many things married couples should to do in order to prove to the court that they are living separately under the same roof. What it boils down to is that the parties must hold themselves out to be separated. Everyone around them should know and believe this as well. To help solidify this further, they virtually need to have someone around all the time who can verify their assertion that they are living separately and apart. To that end, it wouldn't hurt to have a non biased person visit the marital home both announced and unannounced on a regular basis to witness firsthand just how separately they live. Even better, have that person move into the marital residence. Living separately in this manner is extremely awkward for children and difficult to prove and is why many attorneys will not file a divorce while the parties are still living under the same roof. A Frugal Legal no fault divorce would not be an option for a couple living under the same roof.

In the end, it's the couple's burden to prove. Virginia is focused on supporting the family and it is in direct contradiction to a claim that a married couple is separated when they are in fact living under the same roof. For more information or to discuss the specifics of your case, speak with a qualified divorce attorney immediately if this is a course of action you intend to pursue. Make a well informed decision and do it right the first time.

4. What if only one of us lives in Virginia and the other is living in another state or out of the country?

Only one spouse is required to be an actual bona fide resident and domiciliary of the Commonwealth of Virginia at the time of filing the complaint for divorce and for the immediately preceding 6 months. If proceeding with a Frugal Legal no fault divorce in VA, then this shouldn't be an issue. It's when the other spouse is opposed to the divorce that it becomes difficult. If the opposing spouse lives in another state/country, then it would be the moving spouse's burden to personally serve the out of state spouse. This can, of course, cost considerably more than a waiver or standard service within Virginia.

5. How do i establish residency for a divorce in virginia?

At least one of the spouses should actually reside in Virginia. Living in another state is a sure fire way to signal to a court that a person is not a resident of Virginia. Some simple things a person can do include obtaining a Virginia driver's license, registering a car in Virginia, registering to vote in Virginia, and establishing significant ties in the community. This isn't generally an issue; however, it makes sense to think through these things before proceeding.

6. How can I prove residency to the court?

If residency is not a disputed issue, simply affirming under oath that you are an actual bona fide resident and domiciliary of Virginia should suffice. If there is an official inquiry, you should be prepared to provide some of the evidence you collected in establishing your residency here in Virginia. With a Frugal Legal no fault divorce in Virginia, residency is detailed in your complaint, affidavit, and final decree. You should have no reason to appear in court to prove residency.

7. What is venue and does it matter?

Venue is the city or county where the actual court is located within the Commonwealth of Virginia. For instance, when filing in the Virginia Beach Circuit Court, the venue is Virginia Beach. As long as at least one of the parties resides in Virginia and there is no objection by the responding party (defendant), a no fault divorce can be filed within any city or county located in Virginia. Upon objection to venue based on it being an inconvenient forum, the court will likely transfer the matter to another more appropriate venue.

8. What is the difference between a divorce based on fault grounds and one based on no fault grounds?

No fault grounds for divorce are appropriate where the parties do not seek a declaration from the court as to which party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. In other words, they're not in court to assess blame, just to deal with any remaining marital issues. No fault divorce was first introduced as a cause of action for divorce in the United States in California back in 1969, when then Governor Ronal Reagan signed it into law. It went into effect on January 1, 1970. From there, all other states followed suit, including Virginia. While it is likely responsible for reducing alleged incidents of collusion in divorce cases, it is arguably the single greatest cause for the increase in divorces throughout the United States over the past several decades. 

Prior to the introduction of no fault grounds for divorce in VA, divorce litigants were left to allege their spouse did something that caused the marriage to fall apart. That something had to be an official fault based ground for divorce. If a fault based ground for divorce did not exist at the time, the court was without power to grant the divorce. Today, fault grounds for divorce are alleged with great frequency; however, many fault based suits for divorce end up settling at some point in the process. Often times, this just means less money for the parties and more money for their divorce lawyers. If a settlement can be brokered upfront, it makes little sense to pursue a fault based claim for divorce in court.

9. What are the grounds for divorce in a virginia fault based divorce?

Fault based grounds for divorce in VA are outlined in Section 20-91 of the Virginia Code: They include adultery (or sodomy or buggery committed outside the marriage); where one of the parties subsequent to the marriage is convicted of a felony, sentenced to confinement for more than one year and confined for such felony subsequent to such conviction, and cohabitation has not been resumed after knowledge of such confinement; or where either party is guilty of cruelty, caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willfully deserted or abandoned the other.

10. How long must we be separated before a virginia court will grant our divorce?

The period of separation required for no fault divorce in Virginia is one full year. In cases where the parties have entered into a written and signed marital and property separation agreement and there are no minor children either born of the parties, born of either party and adopted by the other or adopted by both parties, a divorce may be decreed after just 6 months.

11. What is adultery in virginia?

According to Section 18.2-365 of the Virginia Code, adultery is classified as a class 4 misdemeanor, meaning the maximum penalty is a $250.00 fine. Essentially, adultery is defined as sexual intercourse with a person not his or her spouse. Sexual intercourse is defined as actual penetration to some extent of the male sexual organ into the female sexual organ. In other words, it may not be committed by same sex partners. Virginia recognizes a one year statute of limitations for adultery in criminal actions.

In a divorce matter, there is a 5 year statute of limitations which essentially means you have 5 years to bring forth your claim. Failure to do that within this time period may bar a divorce on the ground of adultery (Section 20-94 of the Virginia Code).

Update: There is a push in Virginia and other states that characterize adultery as a crime to instead treat it as a civil matter. The downside is that the accused will no longer be able to hide behind the veil of protection provided by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The upside is that the accused will no longer be able to hide behind the veil of protection provided by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. I guess whether it is an upside or downside will depend on your perspective.

12. How do i prove adultery in virginia?

In order to prove adultery, the moving party is required to prove a sexual relationship. He or she is required to provide that his or her spouse had sexual intercourse with another person. Having eyewitness evidence is clearly the best way to proceed; however, it is rarely available due to the secretive nature of adulterers. At a minimum, there must be some corroboration of the testimony of a spouse to prove adultery. While Virginia does permit circumstantial evidence to prove an allegation of adultery, Virginia requires that proof be strict, satisfactory, and conclusive. It is not enough that he or she has a list of text messages or calls made by his or her spouse and a person of the opposite sex. Maybe he or she even has a picture of his or her spouse eating lunch with another person of the opposite sex and kissing goodbye as they exit the restaurant. It may not enough. At a minimum, this should be a good indication that something more is going on. If this is the route you intend to take, make sure you get as much evidence as possible and that you seek the help of a qualified divorce lawyer immediately.

13. what impact can adultery have on my divorce case in virginia?

Adultery can be used as a fault ground to obtain a divorce and has no required period of separation (Section 20-91 of the Virginia Code). That being the case, however, it can take as long if not longer to complete a divorce based on the fault ground of adultery. Adultery can also cut off spousal support to an offending party unless doing so would constitute a manifest injustice (Section 20-102(B) of the Virginia Code). It may be considered in cases involving child custody and can also be considered in determination of equitable distribution of property (Section 20-107.3 of the Virginia Code).

Here are some of the things adultery cannot do. Adultery cannot be considered in determining the amount or duration of spousal support. It cannot be used as a fault ground for divorce if the act happened more than 5 years before institution of the suit (Section 20-94 of the Virginia Code - Statute of Limitations). It cannot be used as a fault ground for divorce if one voluntarily cohabits with the adulterous spouse after having knowledge of the adultery (Section 20-94 of the Virginia Code). And lastly, adultery cannot be used as a fault ground for divorce if the adultery was committed by the alleging party's procurement or connivance (Section 20-94 of the Virginia Code).

14. What is condonation and why does it matter?

Condonation is generally pled as an affirmative defense to a claim of adultery and is equivalent to legal forgiveness. Essentially, the alleging party voluntarily cohabits with the adulterous spouse after obtaining knowledge of the affair. This bars him or her from using adultery as a fault based claim for divorce in Virginia.

15. what if my spouse is convicted of a crime?

Condonation is generally pled as an affirmative defense to a claim of adultery and is equivalent to legal forgiveness. Essentially, the alleging party voluntarily cohabits with the adulterous spouse after obtaining knowledge of the affair. This bars him or her from using adultery as a fault based claim for divorce in Virginia.

16. What if my spouse or i committed desertion or abandonment?

A person whose spouse deserts or abandons the marriage is immediately entitled to a divorce from bed and board. If this desertion continues for a period of at least one year, it is then sufficient to constitute a fault ground for an award of an absolute divorce. Desertion (also referred to as abandonment) requires that the parties discontinue cohabitation and that the offending spouse intend to desert.

A spouse charged with desertion will likely file an answer as his or her counterclaim. In this pleading, he or she may respond with a defense of justification for leaving. This has been found where the responding party has suffered a single, severe incident of physical abuse. It has also been found when the responding party reasonably believed that his or her health or well being was endangered and where reasonable, yet unsuccessful, measures were taken to eliminate the danger without leaving. In some cases, Virginia courts have found justification when one spouse has insisted that the other leave. In any of the above examples, a claim of constructive desertion will likely be pursued. The following question addresses the differences between active desertion and constructive desertion in more detail.

17. What are the difference between active desertion and constructive desertion?

Active desertion is occurs when one spouse willfully deserts or abandons the other. There must be proof of both the actual breaking off of the matrimonial cohabitation and an intent to desert in the mind of the offender. Desertion does not occur when the parties mutually agree to separate. 

Constructive desertion is a different story, but still involves one of the parties leaving. If a spouse leaves because the other commits an act of legal cruelty, then the departing spouse may not be guilty of desertion. Instead, that person may be awarded a divorce based constructive desertion and/or cruelty. Constructive desertion can exist when the actions of a spouse are so harmful to the welfare of the family that the other may be left with no option but to leave the marital residence for his or her own safety and well being. Constructive desertion may also be present in the case of a spouse refusing to engage in sexual intercourse, without justification, and other significant marital duties are not fulfilled.

If you believe either of these may an issue for you in your case, seek the advice and counsel of a qualified divorce attorney immediately.

18. What if my spouse returns after having deserted the marriage?

If a spouse returns after having deserted the marriage and in good faith attempts to return prior to any legal action being initiated by the non deserting spouse, it can be argued that a refusal to forgive is tantamount to constructive desertion. In that case, the period of separation may restart and the tables may turn. Whether a person is acting in good faith or is merely attempting to cover up his or her desertion is a question for the court to decide in the end.

19. Can I get married in virginia if my current marriage is not officially dissolved (if i'm not yet divorced)?

Until your current marriage is officially dissolved by entry of a final decree of divorce, you should not remarry. Marriages entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one or both parties are strictly prohibited by law. At a minimum, your new marriage may be considered void. More likely, however, you are knowingly entering into a bigamous marriage. You may also be defrauding the court due in part to your responses to questions answered under oath when applying for a marriage license. If you even suspect your current marriage is not officially dissolved, you should seek the help of a divorce lawyer immediately to resolve that issue before doing anything to jeopardize your future marriage.

20. What does it mean to be pro se in Virginia?

Pro se is a Latin phrase that is understood to mean "on one's own behalf." Proceeding pro se in any legal matter is generally permissible; however, a pro se litigant will be held to the same standard as an attorney with full knowledge of the law and legal procedure. A pro se litigant has the same rights and privileges as a person represented by counsel. It is common for opposing parties in uncontested, no fault VA divorce matters to proceed without an attorney.

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Step-parent Adoptions In Virginia: Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach


Frugal Legal Services provides step-parent adoptions for local Hampton Roads cities, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth. If you are seeking an inexpensive online option for your step-parent adoption needs, look no further. A Frugal Legal Step-Parent Adoption may be just what you need.

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Step-parent Adoptions In Virginia: Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach


Frugal Legal Services provides step-parent adoptions for local Hampton Roads cities, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth. If you are seeking an inexpensive online option for your step-parent adoption needs, look no further. A Frugal Legal Step-Parent Adoption may be just what you need.

Frugal legal services also Handle Step-Parent Adoptions

We are well versed in Virginia step-parent adoption, so much so that we have streamlined the process for you. Our Frugal Legal step-parent adoption solution is efficient and cost effective. Frugal Legal Services will handle qualified step-parent adoptions from start to finish for one low fee of just $500.00. Among the most important of the qualifications is that the non-custodial birth parent MUST consent. If (s)he is unwilling to consent or is unknown, please call us for details on how we may be able to help. The Frugal Legal Step-Parent Adoption is intended for cases where consent is easily obtained. In other words, everyone is on the same page and will agree to the step-parent adoption. 

Discounts are offered for additional children when their adoptions are handled at the same time. As with our Frugal Legal no fault VA divorce solution, your filing fee is also covered. If you do the math here, that means the cost of your attorney managed Frugal Legal step-parent adoption is the equivalent of just $411.00 for the first child! We pay the $89.00 filing in every case if we receive the consent form from the noncustodial biological parent and are able to proceed. A licensed attorney handles all of the step-parent adoption paperwork for you. You aren't left with adoption papers to file on your own after everything is said and done. We draft. You sign. We file. It's that simple.

If you are interested in our Frugal Legal step-parent adoption, just head over to our Frugal Legal Step-Parent Adoption page. If you have any questions, they may already be answered in our Step-Parent Frequently Asked Questions. Of course, if you can't find your answer there, just e-mail us at ldburroughs@FrugalLegalServices.com and we will respond quickly. The process is fast, simple, and cheap.

Our Frugal Legal step-parent adoption solution is currently offered online and only in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. Unfortunately, that means the child who is being adopted must reside in one of these cities in order to qualify. We are diligently working on adding additional cities and will update our site as new cities go online.



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Adult Name Change in Virginia


Frugal Legal Services provides a simple solution for adults seeking to change their name.

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Adult Name Change in Virginia


Frugal Legal Services provides a simple solution for adults seeking to change their name.

Frugal Legal Services Handles Adult Name Changes

Frugal Legal Services currently offers a simple solution for adults seeking to change their name. For a flat fee of just $150.00, Frugal Legal Services will draft all of your paperwork and submit your request for name change to the Circuit Court. Yes, we even cover your filing fee! That's like paying only $111.00 for an attorney to handle your adult name change.

To qualify for this product, you must be able to answer "yes" to the following:

  • You are a resident of Virginia.
  • Your name has not be changed previously.
  • You have not been convicted of a felony.
  • You are not currently incarcerated.
  • You are not on probation.
  • You can swear under oath in our attorney drafted application that the change of name is not sought for a fraudulent purpose and will not infringe upon the rights of others.

If you can answer YES and want to get started, head over to our PRODUCTS page right away. Let us handle everything for you!

As with our Frugal Legal step-parent adoption, we are currently offering our online services for adult name changes for those who currently reside in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. We are diligently working on adding additional cities and will update our site as new cities go online.