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Proving Adultery in a Virginia Divorce (Part A)

Proving Adultery in a Virginia Divorce (Part A)

Nothing is more devastating, heart-breaking, and humiliating to a woman than knowing that her husband cheated.  You took your marriage vows seriously, and now you’re feeling defeated, lonely, and confused.  You’re probably not sure what to do with this information yet, but you’re wondering about Virginia divorce law and adultery.  What does it take to prove adultery? Do you need a lawyer?

Adultery in Virginia

In Virginia, adultery is defined by statute as when a married person voluntarily has sex with a person who is not his spouse.  “Sex” includes oral, anal, and vaginal sex.  Virginia divorce laws require proof that adultery has been committed in order to file for an at-fault divorce. The evidence of infidelity must be "clear and convincing”—a VERY high level of proof.

Evidence Needed to Prove Marital Infidelity

Adultery in Virginia is grounds for a divorce. However, without concrete evidence, proving infidelity can be incredibly difficult. If you can get your hands on any concrete pieces of evidence, save it, as it may be helpful to prove you have a cheating husband (but remember that this evidence alone may not be enough to prove to the court that your husband committed adultery).

Some types of evidence that can be used to prove your husband is cheating include

  • Photographs
  • Testimony from others
  • Telephone/cell phone/texting records
  • Hotel/airfare records
  • Email, Skype, or text message records (but don’t hack into his account to get them!)

In order to be able to PROVE adultery, you’ll need a corroborating witness.  Usually, we use a private investigator for this.  Before you hire a private investigator, you should meet with a Virginia divorce attorney and come up with a specific, targeted plan of action designed to address your unique situation.  Adultery may or may not actually be beneficial in your case, so it’s a good idea to have a firmly established plan in mind before you shell out thousands of dollars to a private investigator.

A Virginia divorce attorney can help you with the process of gathering evidence, deciding whether to hire a private investigator, and filing for a Virginia divorce.

Proving Adultery in a Virginia Divorce (Part B)

Proving Adultery in Virginia with Circumstantial Evidence

If you do not have solid evidence, eyewitness accounts, or photographs to support your claims of adultery in your Virginia divorce proceedings, then you may need to rely upon circumstantial evidence to help prove your husband is cheating. Circumstantial evidence is an indirect way of proving that adultery has taken place.

This evidence must be logical; leading to the conclusion that adultery has more than likely taken place.

Remember that these cases are MUCH more difficult than where you have corroborated evidence to support your allegations.  You’ll definitely want to be sure to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling adultery cases.  Before you hire your attorney, it’s a good idea to ask some of the following questions.

Questions To Ask a Virginia Divorce Attorney

Some questions you may want to ask your potential Virginia divorce attorney include: 

  • How much experience do you have in working with divorce cases that involve adultery?
  • If my spouse is in a homosexual relationship, is that considered adultery?
  • Should I file for a no-fault or fault-based divorce?
  • What type of evidence will I need to prove my spouse has committed adultery?  Do you think I have enough?
  • How does adultery affect the dividing of property or spousal support?
  • If my husband is cheating on me or spending our money on another woman, will that impact how child support is calculated?

No woman should have to go through a divorce involving adultery on her own.

It may be wise to consult with a divorce attorney who specializes in adultery before confronting your husband so that you don’t give up any of your rights or entitlements. If you decide to confront your spouse before retaining a lawyer, then any chance at obtaining evidence may be eliminated or destroyed. Contact us today to schedule a legal consultation - (757) 785-9761.