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How Can Adultery Affect A Divorce Case in Virginia?

If you are considering filing for a divorce in Virginia because of adultery, you need to be aware of how the law works in regards to your situation. There is no waiting period or required time of separation when filing for a divorce because your spouse committed adultery.

Key Considerations

In Virginia, adultery is considered grounds for a fault divorce. A fault is marital misconduct that is committed by a guilty spouse against an innocent spouse. In order to be granted a divorce because of infidelity, you need to ask yourself how does adultery affect a divorce in Virginia?

  • According to Virginia law, adultery is sexual intercourse with any person not his or her spouse.
  • If a spouse commits adultery and the other spouse condones 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 seeking to gain a divorce, the court will not grant a fault divorce due to recrimination. Recrimination is when both parties are guilty of adultery. Either party can use recrimination as a defense in divorce proceedings in Virginia. However, after a year of separation either spouse can file for a no-fault divorce.

Adultery should not be a reason that is used lightly when seeking a divorce in Virginia because it has severe consequences that can affect the final outcome of your divorce. When determining the distribution of property and debts, the judge will not award any spousal support or alimony to the guilty spouse unless the denial of alimony will result in a gross or manifest injustice. Consult with a Virginia divorce attorney for more information on how adultery could affect a divorce in Virginia.

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