Can I still get spousal support if I cheated?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Family Law |

If you are a wealthy stay at home parent who cheated on your sole provider spouse, you may wonder if you can still get spousal support in Virginia. The answer is not simple, because it depends on several factors, such as the grounds for divorce, the circumstances of the adultery and the discretion of the judge.

How does adultery affect spousal support in Virginia?

In Virginia, adultery is a legal reason to end the marriage. Adultery must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, photographs, videos, emails, texts or phone records.

Adultery can have a significant impact on spousal support in Virginia. According to Virginia Code Section 20-107.1, a spouse who is guilty of adultery is generally barred from receiving spousal support, unless the court finds that denying spousal support would be “manifestly unjust” based on the relative economic circumstances of the parties.

What does this mean for me?@

This means that if you cheated on your spouse, you may not be entitled to spousal support, unless you can show that you would suffer severe financial hardship without it. For example, if you have a disability, a serious illness or no marketable skills, the court may consider granting you spousal support despite your adultery.

However, if you are a wealthy stay at home spouse who has substantial assets or income of your own, or who can easily find employment or education opportunities, the court may not find it manifestly unjust to deny you spousal support.

The court may also consider other factors, such as the duration of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse to the family and the circumstances and factors that contributed to the dissolution of the marriage.