Legal Professionals of Hirsch & Ehlenberger

What do you need to prove adultery in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2021 | Divorce

Getting a divorce in Virginia is not an immediate process. The waiting period for a divorce can last between six months to a year unless you can prove fault. Adultery is one of the types of fault in a divorce that could allow for early divorce, but you will need to prove it to avoid the waiting period.

In order to prove your spouse committed adultery, you will need to do more than accuse them of the act. If you are looking to initiate an early divorce because of adultery, here are a few things you need to know:

Providing evidence

Proving adultery took place in your marriage is difficult but possible. Direct evidence (not hearsay) can come in the form of proof, such as eyewitness testimony or the guilty party admitting to the adultery (can be either the spouse or the paramour).

There is also circumstantial evidence that can act as proof. This type of evidence will need to show that the cheating spouse had the chance to commit adultery and the disposition to do so. Proving disposition can include photographic evidence of the couple being affectionate or even chat logs of their conversations about their affair. Proving that your spouse had the chance, or opportunity, to have an affair means including proof that the couple had met in person, such as GPS evidence or pictures of them entering a hotel together.

Make sure your evidence is legitimate

If you collect evidence of adultery outside of a legal manner, a court will likely dismiss your evidence. This means that you cannot gather evidence by accessing your spouse’s phone without permission, entrapping your spouse into admitting an affair, hacking into their phone or email, or even acquiring evidence through threat or duress.

Getting help in submitting your proof

If you are looking to skip the year-long separation period to file for divorce because of adultery or another fault, the help of an experienced attorney can go a long way. Their guidance can help you legitimately collect and submit the evidence you need to end your marriage sooner.


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