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What Bearing Can Fault Divorce Grounds Have on Spousal Support?

While many states do not have fault grounds for divorce, Virginia offers both no-fault and fault grounds divorce options. A Virginia Beach spousal support attorney can explain the possible ramifications that fault grounds can have on spousal support.

Virginia statute § 20-91 establishes fault divorce grounds as the following:

  • Adultery, sodomy or buggery committed outside the marriage
  • Felony conviction with over a year confinement
  • Cruelty causing reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt or willful desertion or abandonment
  • No cohabitation and living separate and apart for one year without interruption

Except for the last divorce ground of living separately, the court can consider fault grounds as an influencing factor when determining whether to award spousal support. For this reason, if spousal support is an issue, you may want to consider carefully the grounds used for pursuing divorce. According to the Virginia State Bar, a spouse’s fault in causing divorce is not necessarily a complete bar to spousal support. It may be a factor in whether or not the court awards spousal support.

Despite the fact that spousal support may be an important factor, pursuing a divorce on fault grounds can result in a contested divorce, which can be costly. Norfolk spousal support lawyers can explain how Virginia laws relate to your divorce and help you evaluate your options.

Darrell M. Harding works diligently to protect clients’ rights and can help them make the best decisions toward obtaining a favorable outcome.

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