Unlike many states, Virginia does not have legal separations granted by courts. However, a husband and wife in Virginia may enter into a separation agreement (also known as a property settlement agreement) by which they agree to live separate and apart, and to divide their property and debts.
Where the parties have children under the age of 18, separation agreements may also provide for child support and child custody and visitation in their separation agreement. The agreement may also include provisions providing for the payment of spousal support (alimony).
Separation agreements generally provide that any subsequent divorce will be no-fault. With such an agreement in place, once the parties have separated and lived apart for the appropriate time, either party may then file for an uncontested divorce on the no-fault ground of separation.
The provisions of a separation agreement may be enforced by the court and are incorporated in the divorce decree. The agreement may be altered by agreement of both parties with regard to all provision except those involving custody, visitation, or child support, which require a court order.