- I. Adultery.
- Adultery and Divorce in Virginia
- West Virginia Divorce Court Considerations Table
- Same-Sex Marriage Means Same-Sex Divorce
- The Problems of Proving Adultery in Virginia
Deciding the end the relationship is easy. It can be a completely one sided decision—at least at this point. Basically, anything that you were doing that gave the impression to each other or to others that you are happily married has to stop.
Adultery is when a married person willingly has sex with a person who is not his or her spouse. Sex includes oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse. Most people feel like there is or should be a difference between adultery that occurs before and adultery that occurs after separation.
There is a bit of a difference in how pre and post separation adultery is handled in a divorce, though. The way the statute is worded, though, the judge is allowed to look at the negative and positive monetary and nonmonetary contributions each party made to the marriage.
Adultery and Divorce in Virginia
As far as division of the assets go, post separation adultery is considered less seriously than pre separation adultery because, at least as far as the judge is concerned, the adultery is not the reason for the breakdown of the marriage. The most important thing to know about adultery is that, if the court finds you have committed it, you will be barred from asking for spousal support later on. If you have committed adultery, you will be barred from asking for spousal support unless you can demonstrate that you being denied spousal support would result in manifest injustice.
According to the criteria set forth by the court, there are two basic prongs to that test: the relative degrees of fault, and economic disparity.
West Virginia Divorce Court Considerations Table
On the other hand, post separation adultery is although still criminal! According to the court, pre separation adultery garners more blame for the offending spouse than post separation adultery. Does that make sense? If you were trying to show the court that you deserved to receive spousal support despite your adultery, you would want to be able to show the court that your marriage broke down, not because of your fault, but because there were other things like poor communication skills or his mismanagement of family finances to blame.
Same-Sex Marriage Means Same-Sex Divorce
You want the court to feel like both you and your husband were equally responsible for the breakdown of the marriage, and not like the fault lay more with you and your actions. He must earn substantially more. If the way your property is divided ultimately does very little to alleviate some of the disparity, you have a better argument for manifest injustice. Manifest injustice is the only way to overcome a denial of a spousal support award as a result of adultery. Condonation is a defense to fault based grounds that you should be aware of, especially in the case of adultery.
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The other party can list their own basis for the divorce in the answer and ask for support or custody. Otherwise, the party can file a cross-bill of complaint instead. If during this time there are temporary issues that need to be resolved such as child custody or spousal support, either party can ask for pendente lite orders. These orders are temporary orders that should be followed by both sides until there are final orders.
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Discovery will allow both sides to get any necessary information they need before the trial begins. If there are any motions to settle temporary issues, the court will also hear them. When children are involved, there is a special custody track that only deals with issues regarding custody, visitation, and child support. For contested cases, there is a Commissioner in Chancery appointed to hear the case and decide how any of the grounds apply and if they affect support orders. With uncontested cases, individuals may have the option to appear before a notary or an open court.
Individuals can gain a better understanding of their options once they speak with a Virginia same-sex divorce lawyer.
The Problems of Proving Adultery in Virginia
Legally, one or both parties to the divorce has to have resided in Virginia for a minimum of six months before filing for a divorce. Virginia only has fault-based divorce, but that does not mean there has to be a specific reason. If both parties agree to the divorce, there must be a minimum six-month separation before they can file for divorce. If there are children involved, then the separation has to be for a minimum of one year.
Additionally, the couple must write up and compromise to a property settlement agreement.
A felony conviction and sentence of one year of a spouse, and after they are released, the couple does not return to their relationship. Going through a divorce is never an easy process for any couple.
Getting advice from a Virginia same-sex divorce lawyer can help you understand the process and realize what grounds are best for your situation. Your browser does not support HTML5 video.