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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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When Adultery Leads to Divorce


While you can seek a divorce on the no-fault ground of, you can also file for divorce with the claim that the end of the marriage is your spouse’s fault. One basis for fault recognized in Virginia courts in a divorce is adultery. If you can prove your spouse strayed outside of the bounds of marriage, then you may  drastically influence the outcome of your case. For more information on how adultery affects divorce proceedings in Virginia, contact Leesburg divorce attorneys at our firm.

Proving Adultery

It is not enough to claim that your spouse cheated on you while you were married. A divorce court will need clear and convincing evidence that your spouse had a voluntary sexual relationship with another individual. Allegations and rumors will not fulfill this requirement and neither will an extra-marital relationship that was merely emotional or did not ultimately culminate in sexual intercourse.

You must provide corroborating sources regarding the adultery. These can include your spouse’s admission of the affair, the other party’s admission of the affair, communications between your spouse and the other individual, voice messages, photographs and videos. It can be very difficult to prove adultery in court, particularly because romantic or sexual exchanges between your spouse and the other individual may not be enough. Text messages setting up a dinner date are not proof that sexual intercourse occurred. However, receipts and photographic evidence that your spouse and another person stayed overnight in a hotel room together can be circumstantial proof of a sexual affair.

How Adultery Influences Divorce in Virginia

To receive a no-fault divorce in Virginia, you and your spouse must live separately and apart for at least one year if you have children. However, if you file for divorce based fault grounds you may file immediately and bring the case before the Court.. Fault based grounds for divorce can therefore get you into court sooner than waiting the statutory separation period required for a no fault divorce.

If you can demonstrate to the court that your spouse committed adultery , it is possible to prevent him or her from receiving spousal support. Adultery is a bar to receiving alimony in some cases..

Sometimes adultery affects property distribution during a divorce. In most situations, an affair will not greatly alter how property is divided. However, adultery that had economic consequences or was particularly egregious can result in a property division that is not 50/50 in your favor. Before you assume that this will occur in your case, speak with an attorney. Your lawyer may recommend negotiating a property settlement with your spouse or letting the Court determine the degree of fault..

Contact a Leesburg Divorce Lawyer Today

If you want to move forward with a divorce because of your spouse’s adultery, contact the experienced legal team of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC as soon as possible at 703-997-4982. We understand how difficult this time is. We will sit down with you and go over the pros and cons of filing for divorce based on adultery versus seeking a no-fault dissolution of your marriage.



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