Fault-Based Divorce in Virginia

It is common for one spouse to blame the other in the breakdown of a marriage. In Virginia, adultery, cruelty, and desertion are all acceptable grounds for a fault-based divorce.

While the grounds for a fault-based divorce sound simple, it takes more than blame to make a fault-based divorce happen. Spousal misconduct must be proven to the court and that is typically accomplished with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Proving Adultery in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Adultery is likely the primary cause for fault-based divorces in Virginia. Proving adultery and using it as the grounds for a fault-based divorce is a complicated matter. Adultery is unique among fault grounds for divorce in that a spouse who can be proven to have committed adultery is barred from receiving support, unless the bar would constitute “manifest injustice.”

While emails, social media activity, phone calls, text messages and bank statements may be used as evidence, they alone may not prove adultery. How you use these materials and any other information regarding an adulterous spouse may play an important role in shaping the landscape of your divorce. Additionally, how you interact with your spouse after you discover the adultery can be crucial as well. A detailed discussion with the expert counsel at Curran Moher Weis will give you the means to make crucial decisions regarding a fault-based divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Proving Cruelty in a Virginia Divorce

Cruelty as grounds for divorce typically involves some form of physical assault or a threat of violence. In some cases, extreme mental cruelty can be a basis for cruelty as grounds for divorce.

Gathering the necessary proof for this type of fault-based divorce is crucial and may include police reports detailing violent incidents, medical records proving injuries, witnesses, and photographs. Your legal needs in a fault-based divorce on the grounds of cruelty can best be served by an aggressive, experienced Virginia divorce lawyer.

Proving Desertion in a Virginia Divorce

Desertion requires that one spouse has made the choice to stop living with the other without good reason and without any intention of returning to the marriage. As with all fault-based divorce cases, it will be necessary to adequately prove desertion.

Virginia courts do recognize the concept of “constructive desertion” where one spouse’s conduct may be sufficient to justify the other spouse leaving their shared home; often constructive desertion requires showing that the fleeing spouse’s health is in danger, but this is not always the case.

Meet with A Qualified Divorce Lawyer in Northern Virginia

If you believe you have grounds for a fault-based divorce, meet with us to discuss your situation with one of our experienced Northern Virginia divorce attorneys. Contact us today at (571) 328-5020 or request a consultation.


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