Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 6. Divorce, Affirmation and Annulment
9/16/2019

§ 20-97. Domicile and residential requirements for suits for annulment, affirmance, or divorce.

No suit for annulling a marriage or for divorce shall be maintainable, unless one of the parties was at the time of the filing of the suit and had been for at least six months preceding the filing of the suit an actual bona fide resident and domiciliary of this Commonwealth, nor shall any suit for affirming a marriage be maintainable, unless one of the parties be domiciled in, and is and has been an actual bona fide resident of, this Commonwealth at the time of filing such suit.

For the purposes of this section only:

1. If a member of the armed forces of the United States has been stationed or resided in this Commonwealth and has lived for a period of six months or more in this Commonwealth next preceding the filing of the suit, then such person shall be presumed to be domiciled in and to have been a bona fide resident of this Commonwealth during such period of time.

2. Being stationed or residing in the Commonwealth includes, but is not limited to, a member of the armed forces being stationed or residing upon a ship having its home port in this Commonwealth or at an air, naval, or military base located within this Commonwealth over which the United States enjoys exclusive federal jurisdiction.

3. Any member of the armed forces of the United States or any civilian employee of the United States, including any foreign service officer, who (i) at the time the suit is filed is, or immediately preceding such suit was, stationed in any territory or foreign country and (ii) was domiciled in the Commonwealth for the six-month period immediately preceding his being stationed in such territory or country shall be deemed to have been domiciled in and to have been a bona fide resident of the Commonwealth during the six months preceding the filing of a suit for annulment or divorce.

4. Upon separation of the husband and wife, the wife may establish her own and separate domicile, though the separation may have been caused under such circumstances as would entitle the wife to a divorce or annulment.

Code 1919, § 5105; 1922, p. 589; 1958, c. 169; 1968, c. 455; 1974, c. 278; 1978, c. 412; 1985, c. 304; 1987, c. 35; 1988, c. 448; 1991, c. 259; 2009, c. 582; 2015, c. 315; 2017, c. 480.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.