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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34314
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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Hi, I had an emotional affair, mu husband find out and he wants

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Hi, I had an emotional affair, mu husband find out and he wants to divorce me saying that I committed adultery and wants to use that to take custody my children and leave me with nothing. He is the one working, i haven't worked in years and he wants to leave me with most of the debts. He is saying that even though I did not had sex with the other person it's still considered adultery (emotional affair) and that Virginia law recognize that.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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I am sorry to hear that you are having these problems with your spouse...
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What is your legal question that I can help with tonight?
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Does your husband happen to be an attorney?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had an emotional affair, he (my husband) found out. He told me that what I did was considered adultery. He looked online and he said that emotional affairs in Virginia are considered adultery. He is using that to take my children from me, and leave me with nothing (just debts).


He is not an attorney.

Ok, if you are asking if "emotional adultery" counts in VA, the answer is no. I am not sure where husband got this information, or whether he made it up to justify his actions, but it is false.
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Virginia law specifically defines adultery as sexual intercourse by a spouse with someone other than their spouse. There is no such thing in the law as "emotional adultery".
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Virginia Code § 18.2-365. Adultery defined; penalty.

Any person, being married, who voluntarily shall have sexual intercourse with any person not his or her spouse shall be guilty of adultery, punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

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There are only two kinds of divorce actions in VA, fault and no-fault. With a no-fault, the spouses have to live apart for at least a year if there are minor children.
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With a fault divorce, one spouse must prove adultery under the definition in the law, be convicted of a felony and put in jail, or prove that the other spouse is guilty of of cruelty, caused reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt, or willfully deserted or abandoned the other, such divorce may be decreed to the innocent party after a period of one year from the date of such act. (Virginia Code - Title 20 - Sections: 20-91)
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So at this point, adultery wouldn't be a real ground he could file under. If he filed under cruelty, then this wouldn't necessarily have any impact on your custodial rights as long as this doesn't affect your parenting skills. Although husband may be angry about the situation, I don't see your actions as having any effect on the custody order because the judge has to make a decision based on "the best interests of the children", not based on any issues the spouses have had between them.
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Thanks
Barrister
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