Can I file a divorce without a separation agreement?

UPDATED: May 31, 2011

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Can I file a divorce without a separation agreement?

I live in VA. I’ve been separated from my wife for over a year. She refuses to sign a separation agreement because I am asking for her to pay for her half of our credit card debt. That is my only condition. I entered the marriage with a bankruptcy but no debt. All debt incurred was during our marriage. We had joint checking accounts and filed jointly for 4 of the 5 years we were married. The last year we had separate bank accounts but still filed jointly in our taxes. No debt was put on the credit cards that last year. Will my wife still be liable for her half of our credit card debt?

Asked on May 31, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, filing for separation is not a requirement to filing for divorce. So the answer to your question is yes,you can file for divorce if your wife refuses to come to an amicable agreement.  now, as for division of assets and division of debt, one would need to look at the whole picture.  But again, the courts are going to distribute both equitably between you and based upon the circumstances. I would seek legal counsel in your area on the matter as soon as you can.  You seem to have been very patient and have waited long enough. Time to move on with your life.  Good luck to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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