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Will a Virginia divorce lead to justice after your spouse cheats?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | Divorce

Discovering adultery can completely change your perception of your spouse. Someone who seemed hardworking and reliable may now seem completely untrustworthy. You may wonder if all of their late nights over the years were really time spent violating their wedding vows to you.

For many spouses hurt by the discovery of infidelity, divorce is the only possible solution. You likely feel hurt and would like to punish your ex for their violation of trust. Can the Virginia courts give you justice for your spouse’s affair when you divorce?

Will an extramarital affair even matter?

In many no-fault divorces, allegations of infidelity will have very little impact. While the courts can consider economic wrongdoing during property division proceedings, it is uncommon for adultery to have a major impact on property division proceedings.

You can divorce for cause if you can prove the adultery. If the courts grant you a fault-based divorce, the official record would show that your spouse is responsible for the end of your marriage. Virginia does still treat adultery as a misdemeanor offense, but the prosecution of adultery isn’t common. If you want to prove in court that your spouse was unfaithful, you will need concrete evidence of the affair, not just allegations, even if you catch them with literal lipstick on their collar.

Additionally, adultery rarely has any influence on child custody matters. However, when it comes to alimony, the serious fault of one spouse that causes the divorce can impact how much the judge orders. A spouse who cheated may not be eligible for permanent alimony from their faithful spouse.  

The best revenge may be living a better life

It is perfectly natural to want revenge after a betrayal from someone you thought you could trust. However, many people will find it costs far more than they expect to bring allegations of infidelity against their spouse in court.

Unless there are financial benefits to doing so, such as requesting compensation for tens of thousands of dollars in wasted marital assets spent on the affair, a no-fault divorce may be better than divorcing based on infidelity. Thinking about what you truly want for yourself in the future can help you decide the best approach to your upcoming Virginia divorce.