Procedures for Civil Actions, Name Changes, Annulment, Divorce and Criminal Cases

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 Uncontested Divorce

Use of An Attorney:
Each party involved in a divorce matter is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney so that the legal effects of the proceedings may be fully explained.  While it is your right to proceed without an attorney, if you do so, you may forever, unknowingly waive your rights to custody or visitation, child or spousal support, equitable distribution of property, and other legal claims arising out of your marriage.  The law clerks and the clerk's office staff and judicial staff are not permitted to give you legal advice. Should you need further assistance, the following resources are available: Wahab Law Library, 757-385-4419; Virginia State Bar Lawyer Referral, 1-800-552-7977 (30 min. consultation for $35) and Virginia Legal Aid, http://www.valegalaid.org.
 
An uncontested divorce is one in which:
a. All of the issues have been agreed to by the parties; and
b. The grounds are separation for the statutory period (no-fault), or a motion for a no-fault divorce will be made pursuant to Virginia Code § 20-121.02; and
c. Child support, spousal support, custody, and/or visitation are not requested; or if they are requested, there is a written and signed agreement, or both parties have signed the final divorce decree.
 
Important Instructions:
The following uncontested divorce forms available in PDF fillable format  below:
 

To fill out a form, open the form by clicking on it. Click inside the first field you wish to edit. Begin typing. Use your mouse or "Tab" key to navigate forward through the different fields. Use the "Shift" plus "Tab" keys together to go back.​

 Contested Divorce

Each party involved in a divorce matter is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney so that the legal effects of the proceedings may be fully explained. While it is your right to proceed without an attorney, if you do so, you may forever, unknowingly waive your rights to custody or visitation, child or spousal support, equitable distribution of property, and other legal claims arising out of your marriage. The law clerks, clerk’s office and judicial staff are not permitted to give legal advice. In addition, the court and clerk's office do not provide forms to file a divorce action (Bill of Complaint) or Final Divorce Decrees. Should you need further assistance, the following resources are available: Wahab Law Library, 757-385-4419; Virginia State Bar Lawyer Referral, 1-800-552-7977 (30 min. consultation for $35) and Virginia Legal Aid, http://www.valegalaid.org
 
Contested Divorce Forms and Information: 



 

 Name Change

Application for Adult Name Change and ​Instruction for Application for Adult Name Change are available in Adobe Acrobat fillable format.  Click inside the first field you wish to edit. Begin typing. Use your "Tab" key to navigate forward through the different fields. Use the "Shift" plus "Tab" keys together to go back.   You must submit a properly completed typed order with the application. See ​Order for Adult Name Change
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Being a statutory action, the application and order must strictly comply with the requirements of the code. Click here to link to Virginia Code § 8.01-217​. File the properly completed application and typed order in the circuit court clerk's office. Submit following documents:
 
1. Original application;
2. Copy of photo identification (state issued driver's license or state-issued identification card, a United States military card, a United States Passport, a certificate of United States citizenship, a certificate of naturalization, an alien registration card with photograph, or an unexpired foreign passport);
3. Original order;
4. A self-addressed stamped envelope; and
5. $41 filing fee payable to circuit court clerk. No personal checks.
 
Restoration of former name Incident to a Divorce
 
Virginia Code § 20-121.4 provides that upon a decree of divorce, a party who changed his or her name by reason of a marriage, may motion the court to restore such party's former name or maiden name by a separate order meeting the requirements of § 8.01-217. Provided that you have made a motion to restore your former name or maiden name at the divorce hearing before the divorce commissioner or the judge, you may submit a properly completed typed order along with a $21 clerk's recording fee to the circuit court clerk's office. Otherwise you must follow the procedures for a Name Change for an Adult described above. The following is a  sample Order Restoring Former Name Incident to a Divorce. This sample order form explains what information is required in the order. This order should be sent contemporaneously with the final divorce decree.
 
Name Change of a Minor
 
An Application and Order for Minor Name Change are available in Adobe Acrobat fillable format.  You are responsible for ensuring that the application and order comply with all statutory requirements or seek an attorney for legal assistance. Being a statutory action, the application and order must strictly comply with the​requirements of the code. Submit following documents:

 
1. Original application;
2. Copy of photo identification (state issued driver's license or state-issued identification card, a United States military card, a United States Passport, a certificate of United States citizenship, a certificate of naturalization, an alien registration card with photograph, or an unexpired foreign passport);
3. Original order;
4. A self-addressed stamped envelope; and
5. $41 filing fee payable to circuit court clerk plus any applicable service fees. No personal checks.
 
Statutory Requirements:
To change the name of a minor, one or both of the legal parents may petition the circuit court for the city/county in which you live. The petition must be made under oath and comply with all the requirements of Virginia Code Section § 8.01-217. Also, the applicant must affirm that the name change is not sought with any fraudulent intent and that the name change is in the best interest of the minor. The name change does not terminate any legal parental rights.
 
In the case of a minor who has both parents living and a parent does not join in the application. Such parent shall be served with reasonable notice of the application unless waived by the court. A written motion for an ex parte hearing for a judge to consider a waiver of such notice requirement may be set on the court's duty judge docket. In the case of a minor who has both parents living and a parent does not join in the application. Such parent shall be served with reasonable notice of the application unless waived by the court. A written motion for an ex parte hearing for a judge to consider a waiver of such notice requirement may be set on the court's duty judge docket.  At such ex parte hearing the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that such notice would present a serious threat to the health and safety of the applicant. Should a parent object to the change of name after being served with notice, a hearing to determine whether the change of name is in the best interest of the minor shall be set on the court's trial docket. Should a parent object to the change of name after being served with notice, a hearing to determine whether the change of name is in the best interest of the minor shall be set on the court's trial docket.

If the applicant is requesting the record be sealed because the recording  of the name change would pose a serious threat to the health or safety of the applicant/applicant's family, the applicant must schedule a hearing with the chief judge of this court prior to the filing of the application in the clerk's office.​

 

 Civil Actions

It is the goal of the Virginia Beach Circuit Court that all civil cases be concluded within 18 months of the date of filing, except for exceptional cases brought to the attention of the Court.
 
The Circuit Court has established procedures for civil cases. The events and duties of the parties are outlined in the Civil Case Management Manual.
 
The court may require that a court reporter be present at the trial.  In a civil case filed directly in the circuit court, the services of a court reporter to appear and record the trial proceedings shall be arranged by the plaintiff unless otherwise arranged by agreement of all counsel or directed by the court. ​

 
Counsel must submit for entry by the court the Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order​  unless the case is an appeal from the general district court.
 
When filing a civil action in the circuit court, counsel shall attach a completed Civil Cover Sheet (available on the Supreme Court's Website www.courts.state.va.us under forms) ​to the initial pleading filed. This will greatly assist the clerk’s office with the filing fee assessment and the indexing of the case.  
 
For actions originating in the circuit court, counsel must file a ​praecipe for the setting of a trial date​ or contact the court to set an agreed trial date. The clerk's office will  issue a Notice of Docket Call in civil actions appealed from the general district court.
 
Counsel shall be responsible for preparing and submitting for approval any continuance request of a trial date 
 
Contact Information