Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 6. Divorce, Affirmation and Annulment

§ 20-99. How such suits instituted and conducted; costs.

Such suit shall be instituted and conducted as other suits in equity, except as otherwise provided in this section:

1. Except for a divorce granted on the grounds set forth in subdivision A (9) of § 20-91, no divorce, annulment, or affirmation of a marriage shall be granted on the uncorroborated testimony of the parties or either of them.

2. Whether the defendant answers or not, the cause shall be heard independently of the admissions of either party in the pleadings or otherwise.

3. Process or notice in such proceedings shall be served in the Commonwealth by any of the methods prescribed in § 8.01-296 by any person authorized to serve process under § 8.01-293. Service may be made on a nonresident by any of the methods prescribed in § 8.01-296 by any person authorized to serve process under § 8.01-320.

4. In cases where such suits have been commenced and an appearance has been made on behalf of the defendant by counsel, then notices to take depositions and of hearings, motions, and other proceedings except contempt proceedings, may be served by delivering or mailing a copy to counsel for opposing party, the foot of such notices bearing either acceptance of service or a certificate of counsel in compliance with the Rules of Supreme Court of Virginia. "Counsel for opposing party" shall include a pro se party who (i) has entered a general appearance in person or by filing a pleading or endorsing an order of withdrawal of that party's counsel or (ii) has signed a pleading in the case or who has notified the other parties and the clerk that he appears in the case.

5. In cases where such suits have been commenced, the defendant has been served pursuant to the provisions of subdivision 1 of § 8.01-296, and the defendant has failed to file an answer to the suit or otherwise appear within the time allowed by law, no further notice to take depositions or conduct an ore tenus hearing is required to be served on the defendant and the court may enter any order or final decree without further notice to the defendant.

6. Costs may be awarded to either party as equity and justice may require.

Code 1919, § 5106; 1920, p. 503; 1928, p. 535; 1938, p. 202; 1968, c. 484; 1975, c. 644; 1977, c. 60; 1984, cc. 609, 616; 1987, c. 594; 1991, c. 244; 1992, c. 563; 2012, cc. 78, 84; 2013, cc. 81, 100; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 194.

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.