Obtaining a Divorce

  • Reference VA Code § 20-89 through 20-124 for information on how to obtain a divorce in Virginia.
  • To obtain a divorce in Virginia, either you or your spouse must be a resident of Virginia for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
  • For a "no fault" or uncontested divorce, if there are no children from the marriage, you must be separated for a minimum of six months before you may file for divorce. If there are children from the marriage, you must be separated a minimum of one year before you may file for divorce. If any child or children of the marriage is under the age of 18, both the husband and the wife must complete the Families in Transition (FITS) Program.
  • In Virginia, you do not file a separation agreement with the court, unless you wish the court to approve it as part of the divorce proceeding.

Choosing to go Pro Se

  • "Pro se" means that a party to a lawsuit is representing himself or herself. All persons involved in divorce cases are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney so that the legal proceedings and the effect of legal documents and Orders can be fully explained to you. Furthermore, at trial the same rules will apply as if you had an attorney, and the Judge is not permitted to help you in presenting your case.
  • If you choose to represent yourself, you will be expected to follow the same procedures as an attorney.
  • Final Order/Decree of Divorce
  • The Final Order should only be submitted to the Court when it is ready to be entered.
  • You may submit a copy of the proposed Order, which will be indexed and scanned. You should bring the original Order to your court hearing, if you will have an Ore Tenus hearing.
  • An original Order that needs to be submitted to the Judge for entry by the court can be submitted to the Clerk's Office, along with a cover letter with instructions to send it up to the Judge for entry.
  • Any required documents need to be filed before submitting the order for entry (i.e. VS-4, affidavits, etc.)


  • VS-4 form - available in the Clerk's Office.

Radford City Circuit Court is not a forms court. The initial Divorce Complaint must be drafted.


The following fees are associated with filing a divorce case:

  • A filing fee of $84 is required to open your case.
  • A $12 service fee if the complainant wishes to have a defendant that resides in Virginia served by the Sheriff. If the defendant does not reside in the State of Virginia, or if the complainant does not wish to have the document served by a sheriff, the complainant must make arrangements to have the documents served on the defendant. This may be accomplished by using a private process server; or if the defendant is willing to accept service, having the subpoena issued to the complainant so that the complainant may arrange for the defendant to accept service before a notary public or execute a waiver of notice.
  • If the wife wishes to resume her maiden name, a name change order must be submitted, and there will be an additional recording fee payable when the final decree of divorce is entered. This fee is $22 for up to ten pages. The $22 fee must be a separate check or money order, made payable to "Clerk of Circuit Court."

All fees are payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court by cash, check or money order. Do not include filing fees in the same check as your recording fee for the Name Change Order.

*Please note: Court personnel are prohibited by law from giving legal advice.