If you are considering filing for divorce in Virginia due to adultery, you need to know how the law works in relation to your situation.
There is no waiting period or time required for separation when filing for divorce because your spouse committed adultery. In Virginia, adultery is considered grounds for divorce at fault . A misdemeanor is spousal misconduct that is committed by a guilty spouse against an innocent spouse. In order to be granted a divorce due to infidelity, you need to ask yourself how adultery affects the divorce.
- According to Virginia law, adultery is sexual intercourse with anyone other than the spouse of the husband or wife.
- To qualify as grounds for divorce, your spouse’s affair must have become physical and culminate in sexual intercourse. Mental or emotional issues don’t count. Being familiar with a new friend at work is not enough. Proving adultery means proving sexual intercourse.
- If one spouse commits adultery and the other spouse approves of the act and continues to live with the guilty spouse after the act has occurred, the court does not have to grant a divorce because of this fault.
- If both spouses have committed adultery and are trying to get a divorce, the court will not grant a judgment of divorce because of the recrimination. Recrimination is when both parties are guilty of adultery. Either party can use recrimination as a defense in Virginia divorce proceedings. However, after one year of separation, either spouse can file for a no-fault divorce.
- Virginia law does not require any type of “fine” or punitive damages from the spouse who committed adultery. Adultery can have an impact on the distribution of marital assets and debts of the parties, although not as much as you might think. And in most cases, adultery will not have a significant impact on court decisions about child custody and visitation. It is only on the subject of spousal support that adultery usually has a tremendous impact.
- Sometimes adultery provides some useful advantage in negotiating a favorable settlement. While some adulterous spouses seem completely immune to the proverbial “dirty laundry” issue, most would prefer to retain some dignity and move on with their lives. When the alternative is to have their indiscretions exposed in open court, many of these spouses agree to give their injured exes a little more equity in the home, provide a slightly higher child support payment, or perhaps take on a little more. credit card debt.
- Proving adultery may not help much in a custody and visitation battle . Virginia law directs courts to look at several factors when determining custody, but a parent who has an affair is not one of them. The court may prohibit the exposure of the children to a new boyfriend or girlfriend before the finalization of the divorce, but it is not likely to deny primary custody and/or visitation from a cheating spouse based solely on adultery.
Finally, adultery should not be a reason used lightly when seeking a divorce in Virginia because it has serious consequences that can affect the final outcome of your divorce. In determining the distribution of property and debts, the judge will not award any alimony or spousal support to the at-fault spouse unless the denial of alimony results in gross or manifest injustice.
If you need a Virginia Divorce Lawyer to help you with your Virginia divorce case, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia divorce attorneys can help. C