"Partial" Divorce in Virginia: "Bed and Board"

by Philip Yabut in

"birds on a vane" by author In a previous post, I wrote that there is no such status as "legally separated" in Virginia.  While this is true, you need to know that there is an intermediate status known as divorce a mensa et thoro, or "divorce from bed and board."

There are two grounds for divorce from bed and board: cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willful desertion or abandonment.  The effect of such a decree is separation of spouses and their respective property, but unlike absolute divorce neither party is allowed to remarry (Va. Code § 20-116). 

The parties may seek an absolute divorce one year after date of separation.

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