Fault Grounds for Divorce

Written by Eric · 3 min read >
Fault Grounds for Divorce

There are few options available to you, and state law is rather particular about how fault-based grounds are handled in divorce cases, whether you want to pursue them yourself or your spouse has chosen to do so. Virginia only allows some reasons that are counted as fault grounds. These reasons must be demonstrated to get a divorce on such grounds.


A spouse will often seek an at-fault divorce based on infidelity. It should be noted that this is also among the most challenging forms of proof. If you want to get a divorce because your spouse was unfaithful, you’ll need to prove it with strong evidence.


Some examples of proof include one spouse’s admission of adultery, texts exchanged between the spouses that show adultery, and photographs or films that show one spouse having affairs outside of the marriage. In addition, demands for spousal support might be barred in Virginia if proof of adultery is shown.


Being cruel in Virginia is physically harming or abusing another person. In most cases, a petitioner seeking a cruelty-based divorce must show that the physical abuse occurred on many occasions. The commission of violent acts or actions that endanger the petitioner’s physical or mental health might be used as evidence of cruelty by a court. When deciding whether to file for a cruelty-based divorce, other incidents are typically taken into account, such as the use of harsh words, neglect, or humiliating comments.

Deliberately Leaving or Abandoning

In Virginia, a separation is not considered the same as willful desertion or abandonment. For these grounds to be considered in a divorce petition, the petitioner must show that the defendant knowingly and willfully abandoned the marital residence for at least a year to avoid paying any support to the petitioner. 


Nevertheless, a few exceptions do exist. Because of the inherent dangers involved, a spouse’s decision to leave the house with their children in the event of domestic violence would not be deemed desertion. Similarly, a spouse’s decision to leave the home during a separation would not be considered desertion. The petitioning spouse may apply for a divorce because their partner abandoned the marriage and its residence if the other spouse voluntarily departed with the intent to desert, broke off all connections, and did not return.

Conviction for a Serious Offense

In Virginia, an at-fault divorce may be filed if the defendant has a criminal record from a felony offense and has served a sentence of one year or more in prison. The second spouse may seek divorce if the first spouse has been jailed for a year or more.


It is wise to consult a skilled and experienced family law attorney in Fairfax before filing for an at-fault divorce in Virginia. After checking the components of your case, your attorney will advise you on whether or not an at-fault divorce is the best course of action for you and your family.

Types of Cases 

Our Fairfax divorce lawyer meets the varied demands of our customers by handling a wide variety of situations. Our practice includes the following areas of law:


Important problems, including child custody, wealth distribution, and spousal maintenance, cannot be resolved in a disputed divorce. Cases like this often end up in court, where the judge listens statement from both sides and gives rulings.


The opposite is true in an uncontested divorce, whereby the parties unanimously decide on all material matters. As part of this expedited procedure, a settlement agreement may be submitted to the court for approval, eliminating the need for prolonged litigation.


Important issues in child-related divorces include child custody and visiting schedules. Establishing visiting schedules and pursuing exclusive or joint custody may guarantee the child’s welfare and parental participation.

Child Support Agreement

Child support is an additional factor to consider when determining child custody or visitation. The court determines child support payments, taking into account many criteria, including each parent’s income, the child’s needs, and the custody arrangement.

Splitting Up Marital Funds

Property division in a marriage may be difficult, particularly when substantial assets or assets are obtained during the marriage. Fairfax divides marital assets equitably, rather than evenly, by equitable distribution regulations.

Alimony and Spousal Support

These aids may be granted in situations when one spouse needs financial support after the divorce. The court considers the length of the marriage, the amount of money each spouse had, and the amount they contributed to the marriage.

Marriage Contracts, Both Pre- and Post-Nuptial

Divorce and other marital problems may be better planned with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. By settling any disagreements ahead of time, these agreements may make the divorce process go more smoothly.

Restraint Orders in Cases of Domestic Violence

Spouses and children may obtain protection orders in situations of domestic violence and abuse. Legal safeguards against more abuse and restrictions on communication between parties are the goals of these orders.

Changes to Orders

Changes in circumstances may arise after a divorce is completed, requiring adjustments to court decisions regarding custody, maintenance, or other matters. If a significant change in circumstances necessitates a revision of the initial order, the parties may ask the court to make the necessary changes.

Execution of Decisions

The opposite side may take legal action to ensure that the other party fulfills its end of a court order, such as paying child support or keeping to a visitation schedule.

Rely on an Attorney for Divorce Services

A divorce involves several legal considerations. Divorce proceedings may be daunting for those with legal representation because of their complexity. Protecting your rights and ensuring you obtain what is rightfully yours requires the assistance of a family law or divorce attorney. Contact Select Law Partners – Fairfax Divorce Lawyer if you have concerns or need help navigating the divorce process.

Related: Social Media’s Potential to Impact Your Divorce

Related: Should I get a divorce quiz?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *