What is the difference between a fault-based divorce and a no-fault divorce?

Virginia recognizes several different fault-based grounds for divorce. These include adultery, sodomy, buggery, conviction of a felony, cruelty, desertion, and constructive desertion. Alternatively, a divorce can be granted because the parties have lived separate and apart for the requisite period. People often refer to this type of divorce as no-fault because the parties do not allege one of the enumerated fault grounds as the basis for the divorce, but granting a divorce on this basis does not mean neither party is at fault. For parties with no minor children and an executed property settlement agreement that resolves the issues of asset division and support, the parties need only be separated for six months. For parties with minor children and an executed property settlement agreement, the requisite period of separation is one year.