Adultery is a common reason for filing for divorce. But when it comes to adultery in Virginia divorces, is it also a crime? That question should be asked when initiating divorce proceedings. This edition of the blog will focus on adultery in Virginia divorces and its legal ramifications. Please read on to learn more.
What is the Definition of Adultery in Virginia Divorces?
Adultery is specifically defined a married person having sexual intercourse with someone that is not their spouse. Under the terms of Virginia Code 20-91, adultery is a ground for divorce. Also, as set down in Virginia Code 18.2-365, it is classified as a Class 4 misdemeanor. Therefore, it is explicitly defined as a crime; although this crime is almost never successfully prosecuted if of course it is even prosecuted at all.
Nevertheless, the illegality of adultery in Virginia divorces means that it carries immense weight when factored into the process of divorce. The subsequent court proceedings on adultery require solid proof. It can not just be speculation or insinuations, there has to be clear and convincing proof of adultery to be awarded a divorce based on adultery.
What are the Ramifications of Adultery in Virginia Divorces?
The ramifications, or consequences, of adultery in Virginia divorces, can complicate the entire process. Because it is so difficult to prove, it can significantly increase the amount of time and money that must be expended. Other types of divorce cases, although just as likely to be painful and draining to the family are rather more straightforward. Protection against self-incrimination, as provided by the Fifth Amendment, can be used by the spouse accused of adultery and the same protection is extended to the person they carried on an affair with. In a strange way, these protections can prevent even allegations of adultery.
However, if proven, adultery can be a bar to that spouse receiving spousal support if the case warrants it.
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