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How to File a Bill of Complaint in Virginia

by Tiffany Raiford

In Virginia, the first step in filing for divorce is filing a Bill of Complaint, which is a statement of the facts of your marriage. The Bill of Complaint is required to begin divorce proceedings as you must state in the bill anything that you want out of the marriage, such as assets, child custody and/or court costs. Anything you neglect to state in the Bill of Complaint cannot be given to you in the divorce if your soon-to-be ex-spouse decides not to give it to you.

Go to your local Virginia courthouse to file your Bill of Complaint. You must go to the courthouse in the city or county where you lived as husband and wife or where you now live.

Speak to a court clerk regarding the filing of your Bill of Complaint; the clerk will assist you in filling out the necessary paperwork. In the bill, you must furnish your name, address, Social Security number, contact information as well as the same for your spouse. You must provide the names and dates of birth of your mutual children and a list of your assets and anything you want from the divorce. You must state the date of your marriage, the wife's maiden name and the reason you are filing for divorce.

Sign the Bill of Complaint and file it with the clerk. Once the complaint is filed, your spouse is served by the sheriff with divorce papers and the process of your divorce begins.

Tip

  • Should you elect to hire an attorney for your divorce proceedings, he will fill out the Bill of Complaint on your behalf, provide it to you for approval and your signature, and file it for you.

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