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VA No Fault Divorce: A Family Advocacy Group's Target


As a New Jersey no fault divorce bill awaits the Governor's signature to become law, a family advocate group is planning an assault on similar Virginia divorce laws.


The Family Foundation of Virginia recently said that it will push for changes to the state's no fault divorce laws.

The Family Foundation intends to lobby the General Assembly to make changes to no-fault divorce laws which do not require a husband or wife to prove cause for divorce and make it easier for parents to end their marriage in the state.

The group is advocating "mutual consent divorce" for couples with children. Under "mutual consent divorce," a husband and wife would both have to agree to get a divorce before their marriage could be legally terminated.

"Mutual consent divorce" would not apply in cases of domestic abuse or cruelty, or for childless couples. The President of the Family Foundation challenged Virginia's no-fault divorce laws in a Washington Post online story by saying that they allow one spouse to unilaterally end the marriage and prevent the other partner from doing anything about it.

Victoria Cobb added that current Virginia divorce law promotes a wrong message in which one spouse can get up and leave without forfeiting his or her child custody rights.

This situation in Virginia contrasts sharply with the potential change in New Jersey divorce law. The Family Foundation of Virginia is basically trying to preserve the sanctity and responsibilities of marriage by making it tougher to get divorced, while the New Jersey State Legislature is trying to alleviate the stresses and delays associated with the divorce process.

One New Jersey legislator basically stated that a no-fault divorce law in the state would prevent cases from dragging on and would ultimately help both parties move forward with their lives. These contrasting situations in Virginia and New Jersey reveal the competing interests and goals that legislatures face as they write and revise marriage and divorce laws.

Learn more about the divorce laws in your state by speaking with a divorce lawyer in your area.

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