Suspect Your Spouse Cheated on You? How to Prove Fault in a Virginia Divorce

As you may or may not know, Virginia divorces can be either “fault” or “no-fault” divorces. (Many other states only have “no-fault” divorces.) If you can prove that your spouse committed an act of infidelity, the court may grant you a “fault” divorce, which can empower you with certain options during the divorce process.

For instance, if your husband cheated on you, you can use that as a reason to ask the court to limit the amount of child support and alimony he should be entitled from you. Proving the affair can positively impact your financial future. On the other hand, you might be scared or too upset to want to investigate the alleged affair. Plus, you also want to avoid engaging in actions that could be overly intrusive and could violate your husband’s rights (or the rights of the alleged paramour) and land you in legal hot water. Here are some ground rules:

1. Avoid acting impulsively or out of strong emotion.

Obviously, you’re more than entitled to your own feelings about the infidelity and about the relationship. But just control your actions and make sure they’re both strategic and ethical.

2. Listen to your intuition.

You might not have any direct evidence that your husband cheated on you, but if something about his story – or his request for a separation – does not sit well with you, pay attention.

3. Document everything.

Take notes in your journal (which you should keep private) about what you think happened, why, who saw what, etc. If a friend or a coworker said something to you, get that person to write down what he or she saw, heard, or experienced. In general, the more physical, concrete information you can have connecting your husband to the affair, the better.

4. Use the services of qualified professionals.

Rather than launching your own ad-hoc private eye agency – which can be dangerous, confusing and potentially problematic for your divorce case — first get in touch with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer, who can help you develop a strategy to prove the affair and obtain the “fault divorce” grounds you need to achieve a fair result. Call DiPietro Family Law Group, PLLC at (703) 370-5555 to schedule a confidential consultation with us.

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