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If you are headed toward divorceand the reason for the breakdown of your marriage was adultery, you may be wondering, "Do you have to pay alimony if your spouse cheats? Some states frown heavily upon adultery, while others are not interested in marital misconduct one iota unless it involved wasteful dissipation of marital assets. If there is a large discrepancy in incomes, there is a greater chance that alimony will be awarded. Although it is rarely prosecuted as a crime, the fact that adultery is considered illegal in Virginia can still have ificant impact on a divorce.
So, your spouse is cheating on you, and you need a divorce. Adultery is a fault-based grounds for divorce in Virginia.
The state of Virginia even considers adultery a crime. But Virginia adultery law makes it very difficult to prove. Yet, if you can prove your spouse committed adultery, it can have serious financial implications for your divorce.
Grounds for adultery divorce in virginia
In this post, our experienced family attorneys at the Manassas Law Group will explain the salient points of Virginia adultery laws. Virginia adultery laws define adultery as sexual intercourse by a married person with any person who is not their spouse.
To qualify as grounds for divorce, the affair must be physical. Mental and emotional affairs do not count.
The state of Virginia rarely prosecutes adultery as a crime. But the fact that it is technically illegal has grave implications for a divorce. Virginia adultery laws place the standard of proof for adultery much higher than for other divorce grounds. Proving adultery as grounds for divorce means proving sexual intercourse occurred.
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The Fifth Amendment protects US citizens from self-incrimination. A spouse can invoke their Fifth Amendment rights during the divorce proceedings and refuse to give any evidence regarding adultery. The court cannot use the invocation of the Fifth Amendment against an alleged adulterer. So what type of evidence do Virginia adultery laws require to prove adultery?
Though your spouse cannot incriminate themselves through testimony or deposition if they invoke their Fifth Amendment rights, texts or s they sent can go a long way in proving adultery. But the wording of the messages is key.
You need something more solid as the core of your case. For example, if your spouse admits to adultery to you in a text or anthat can serve as the core of your case. With that evidence, other texts and s that prove nothing on their own become more valuable as corroborating evidence.
Virginia adultery laws require corroboration of the evidence in a divorce proceeding. This is where all those other texts and s come in handy. Corroborating evidence does not have to be eyewitness testimony. If you have a confession from your spouse, or if you have photo evidence of their affair, messages planning romantic dinners will become more incriminating.
Many citizens of Virginia choose to prove adultery by hiring a private investigator to follow their spouse.
Does a cheating spouse get alimony?
A good private investigator can provide the powerful evidence Virginia adultery laws require to prove adultery. Apart from the Fifth Amendment, there are also other defenses for the alleged adulterer that Virginia adultery law recognizes. It is important to be aware of these defenses so you will know if any of them apply to your situation.
Adultery also does not affect child custody in most cases.
But adultery does have some impact on the outcome of the divorce. But this will only have a dramatic impact on your share of the estate if you have a particularly sympathetic judge.
This means that if your spouse, for instance, spent all your savings in pursuit of their affair, the court will factor that into the division of property. If your spouse has committed adultery, the court will not award them any spousal support.
There are advantages and disadvantages to filing for divorce on grounds of adultery in Virginia. First of all, there is no waiting period for an adultery-based divorce.
With other grounds for divorce like cruelty or desertion, there is a one-year waiting period. But it is important to remember that if your spouse contests the divorce, there could still be many months of court battles.
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Successfully filing for divorce on the adultery ground also prevents your spouse from receiving spousal support. There are also plenty of disadvantages to filing for divorce on adultery grounds. The standard of proof is very high. Even if you have evidence or even if your spouse admits to an affair, the court may not grant you a divorce.
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There are a few defenses to adultery, after all. Filing for divorce on grounds of adultery is fraught with complications and requires an experienced family attorney.
For more information on Virginia adultery laws or to discuss your case, call the Manassas Law Group at You can also send us a message online to schedule your consultation. Arrange a Consultation Get In Touch Schedule a Consultation. Virginia Adultery Laws by manassaslaw November 18, 0 comments. Adultery As a Crime Virginia adultery laws define adultery as sexual intercourse by a married person with any person who is not their spouse. Corroboration of the Evidence in Virginia Divorce Court Virginia adultery laws require corroboration of the evidence in a divorce proceeding.
Defenses to an Adultery Charge Apart from the Fifth Amendment, there are also other defenses for the alleged adulterer that Virginia adultery law recognizes.
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Condonation occurs if one spouse discovers the adultery, and s a relationship with their spouse. So if you discover your spouse is having an affair and you take them back, you can no longer use adultery as a grounds for divorce unless a new instance of adultery occurs. Recrimination is proof that the accusing spouse is also guilty of a fault-based grounds for divorce.
For instance, if a wife is accusing her husband of adultery but the husband can prove his wife is also guilty of adultery, recrimination is a possible defense. Adultery has a five-year statute of limitations. If the instance of adultery occurs more than five years before divorce proceedings begin, the court will not grant the divorce based on adultery. The Pros and Cons of Divorce Based on Adultery There are advantages and disadvantages to filing for divorce on grounds of adultery in Virginia.
Contact the Manassas Law Group Filing for divorce on grounds of adultery is fraught with complications and requires an experienced family attorney.