Virginia law recognizes two types of divorce: divorce from bed and board (a mensa et thoro) and a divorce from the bond of matrimony (a vinculo matrimonii). A divorce from bed and board is a partial or qualified divorce under which a husband and wife are legally separated from each other but are not permitted to remarry. A divorce from the bond of matrimony is a complete and absolute divorce. Any person granted a divorce from bed and board may ask the court to “merge” the decree into a divorce from the bond of matrimony after at least one year has passed from the date the parties originally separated.
The grounds for divorce in Virginia are:
- Willful Desertion or Abandonment
- Cruelty and Reasonable Apprehension of Harm\r* Adultery, Sodomy or Buggery
- Conviction of a Felony
- Separation for a period in excess of 12 months (1 year separation)