Skip to Content

To establish an in-house separation, there are certain things that must be done. This separation checklist will ensure that you complete the correct steps and understand the timeline of your divorce process. Read more for our separation checklist for Alexandria and Fairfax County VA.

In-House Separation

Divorce is a financial strain on most people. Since Virginia law requires a 6–12-month separation before divorce, some people choose to go through an in-house separation rather than maintain two separate households. An in-house separation makes it possible for couples contemplating divorce to meet the separation requirements without the financial strain of a second household. However, this requires more than just sleeping in different rooms.

How To Establish Separation

If you are considering an in-house separation, it is important that you understand the requirements. You and your spouse must strive to establish a second household under a single roof. The following is a separation checklist that you will need to meet in order for the court to determine when a separate household was established. Couples should work to meet as many as possible.

[Related: Types of Divorce]

Separation Checklist Northern Virginia

First, you need to establish, maintain, and demonstrate intent to permanently separate. You must be committed to the divorce. Then you should:

  • Stop romantic or sexual intimacy
  • Establish separate bedrooms
  • Stop wearing wedding rings
  • Establish separate checking accounts
  • Do your own laundry
  • Shop for your own food and make your own meals
  • Do not shop for anything on behalf of your spouse
  • Do not use your spouse’s food or other purchases
  • Do not eat meals together (except for children’s birthdays or holidays)
  • Care for and clean your own space
  • Stop socializing together. No parties, movies, etc. together.
  • Do not exchange gifts for special occasions like birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries.
  • Make it known to your family, friends, and coworkers that you are separated within the residence
  • If you have young children, interact as parents only when necessary. Example, attending a school meeting is ok but sitting together during your child’s basketball game is not.
  • Have a third party come to your home and personally observe the separate and distinct living quarters.
  • If possible, use separate entrances to the home.


As with traditional separations, in-house separations require corroboration. This used to mean a third-party witness needed to verify the separation.

2021 Change to Corroboration Laws in Virginia

Starting in 2021 you can sign an affidavit as to your separation date in Virginia. The success of an in-house separation depends less upon 3rd-party corroboration.

Hire a Divorce Lawyer for Alexandria and Fairfax County VA

If you are contemplating a divorce and would like to attempt an in-house separation, it is crucial that you understand the requirements and meet as many as possible. Contact King Campbell Poretz and Mitchell today to speak to an experienced attorney about your case.

Share To: