Dating During Separation and Divorce in Virginia

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Dating During Separation and Divorce in Virginia

October 14 2019
By Faye Carroll

If you’re thinking about dating after you and your spouse have begun to live separate and apart, you should err on the side of caution. Consider the possibility of the following risks and consequences:

  1. In Virginia, you are still married until you are divorced.  If you are having sex with your date, you are committing adultery. Although it is considered “post separation adultery” it is still a fault-based ground for divorce, and it is a crime. While prosecution for adultery is very rare, you can still be charged with a misdemeanor. 
  2. More likely, however, you could be denied spousal support if adultery is proven against you. Adultery constitutes a bar to spousal support, unless the denial would create a “manifest injustice,” i.e., an obviously unfair outcome.
  3. If adultery is proven, the court has the power to award you less of the share of marital property.
  4. Custody and visitation of children can also be impacted by exposing them to dating partners. The Courts always try to determine the “best interest” of the children, and it could reflect poorly on your parenting fitness, and your ability to accurately assess their emotional needs if there is any harm from exposure to dates.
  5. Finally, if you do decide to date during your separation period make every attempt to negotiate a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) or Property Settlement Agreement (PSA). Make sure your MSA or PSA contains a provision stating that the parties will not seek a divorce other than on no-fault grounds. 

Virginia Family Law Center, PC offers simple uncontested, no-fault divorce services starting at $599 including the Court filing fees. Call us today to discuss a fast uncontested divorce.

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