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Family and Marital Law

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Adultery In Virginia

  • If I want to get divorced on the ground of adultery, what do I specifically have to allege when I sue?
    • Time, place and circumstances should be averred with reasonable certainty in suits for adultery.
  • Is it still adultery if it is after we separate?
    • Possibly yes!
  • How do I prove the adultery?
    • Ordinarily adultery must be established by circumstantial evidence by clear and convincing evidence.  The testimony and evidence must convince the fact finder affirmatively that the actual adultery has been committed. Proof should be strict, satisfactory and conclusive.
  • Can my children testify to adultery?
    • Generally no, especially for children of tender years, unless it would be necessary to prevent a denial of justice.
  • Can a detective testify to adultery?
    • Yes. A detective employed to gather evidence can testify.
  • Do court tend to believe the adultery detective?
    • It depends of course on the substance of the testimony.  Hired detectives are carefully scrutinized by the court.
  • What is a paramour?
    • An illicit lover, male or female.
  • Does there have to be sexual intercourse for adultery, or is sleeping in the same bed enough?
    • There must be sexual intercourse to establish adultery.
  • What if we can’t prove the adultery, can I still get divorced?
    • You can amend your suit for divorce to allege separation instead of a ground at any time.
  • What is recrimination?
    • Recrimination is a defense to adultery, where the spouse accused of adultery also accuses the other of adultery.

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