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Legal Grounds for Contesting a Divorce: Challenging Petitions and Allegations

Legal Grounds For Contesting A Divorce: Challenging Petitions And Allegations

Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most challenging phases in anyone’s life. For those in Virginia Beach, understanding the legal grounds for contesting a divorce is crucial when facing a petition or allegations that may seem unjust. Whether you are on the receiving end of such claims or considering contesting a divorce, this guide aims to equip you with the information needed to make informed decisions. With the complexities involved, hiring a knowledgeable divorce lawyer in Virginia Beach can be a game-changer.

Understanding Legal Grounds for Contesting a Divorce

In Virginia Beach, divorces can be categorized into two types: fault-based and no-fault divorces. Each type has specific grounds that can either be contested or serve as the basis for a contested divorce.

Fault-Based Divorces

Fault-based divorces occur when one spouse alleges that the other has committed specific acts that justify the dissolution of the marriage. Common grounds for fault-based divorces include:

  • Adultery: Allegations of infidelity can be grounds for a fault-based divorce. However, proving adultery often requires substantial evidence.
  • Cruelty: Physical or emotional cruelty can be a basis for divorce.
  • Desertion: If one spouse abandons the other without justification, it can lead to a fault-based divorce.

No-Fault Divorces

No-fault divorces are based on the notion that neither spouse is specifically at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The common grounds for no-fault divorces include:

  • Separation: In Virginia Beach, couples must live separately for a specified period before filing for a no-fault divorce. Typically, this period is one year, but it can be reduced to six months if the couple has no minor children and has entered into a separation agreement.

Understanding these grounds is essential for anyone considering contesting a divorce in Virginia Beach, as it forms the basis for any legal challenge.

Challenging Petitions and Allegations

Once you understand the grounds for divorce, the next step is to know how to challenge a divorce petition or allegations effectively.

Legal Procedures for Contesting

  1. Filing a Response: When served with a divorce petition, the first step is to file a formal response. This document addresses the claims made in the petition and may include counterclaims.
  2. Gathering Evidence: Collecting evidence to support your case is crucial. This can involve financial records, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation.
  3. Court Hearings: Be prepared for court hearings where both parties present their cases. Your lawyer will play a pivotal role in representing your interests.

Common Challenges

  • Defending Against Fault-Based Claims: If your spouse has filed for a fault-based divorce, your primary challenge will be to refute the allegations. This may involve disproving claims of adultery, cruelty, or desertion.
  • Challenging Misrepresentations: Ensure that all facts are accurately represented. Misrepresentations or exaggerations can be contested with the right evidence.

Factors to Consider Before Contesting a Divorce

Before you decide to contest a divorce, take some time to weigh the following factors:


Contesting a divorce can be a lengthy process. Be prepared for multiple court appearances and potentially long waiting periods for hearings and judgments.


Legal fees can accumulate quickly. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the financial implications involved in contesting a divorce.

Emotional Impact

Divorce is emotionally taxing for everyone involved. Contesting the process can add to the emotional burden, not just for you but for any children involved as well.

Potential Outcomes

Consider the possible outcomes of contesting a divorce. Sometimes, settling out of court may be more beneficial than a prolonged legal battle.


Understanding the legal grounds for contesting a divorce in Virginia Beach is essential for anyone facing this challenging situation. From grasping the nuances between fault-based and no-fault divorces to navigating the procedures involved in challenging petitions and allegations, knowledge is your most powerful tool.

If you find yourself in need of expert legal guidance, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Invictus Law. Contact us today at 757-367-8898 to discuss your case and explore your options for contesting a divorce in Virginia Beach. Your future is too important to leave to chance.


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