Adultery is male/female sexual intercourse when at least one of the parties is married to someone else. Only the married party or parties can commit adultery. In Virginia, adultery is a class 4 misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of a $250 fine. There is a one-year statute of limitations.
Adultery can be used as a fault ground to obtain a divorce. It can be used as grounds to cut off spousal support to an offending party, it can be considered in child custody determinations, and it can be considered in division of property. However, it cannot be considered in determining the amount or duration of a spousal support award; it cannot be used as a fault ground for divorce if it happened more than five years before institution of a suit for divorce; it cannot be used as a fault ground for divorce if plaintiff voluntarily cohabits with the adulterous spouse after having knowledge of the adultery; it cannot be used as a fault ground for divorce if it was done with the plaintiff’s “procurement or connivance;” and , it cannot be used as a fault ground for divorce if the defendant proves that plaintiff committed adultery or another fault ground of divorce.
For further information or questions please schedule a consultation in our Alexandria, Virginia office.