CALL US (757) 491-0240

DIVORCE

Divorce is simply the termination of marriage. From a legal point of view, the divorce itself is the easiest part. For the people going through it the divorce may be very difficult emotionally but the legalities are quite simple. LEARN MORE

ADULTERY

Of the four fault-based grounds for divorce, adultery garners by far the most attention. Making the decision to pursue adultery as a grounds for divorce can be complicated for a number of reasons. LEARN MORE

FAQ SECTION

Can I get my Child Support Reduced?

The parent who is paying child support can have their payment reduced if, through no fault of their own, their income has decreased. If the other parent’s income has increased, the support amount can be recomputed. If day care expenses are no longer being incurred, the support amount can be changed.

The change cannot be trivial. It has to be “material” which means big enough to make much of a difference.

Income reductions that result from misconduct, such as a truck driver who is fired because they had a DUI, will not support a reduction.

A voluntary choice to take a lower paying job will not a basis for a reduction. This frequently occurs with people exiting the military voluntarily. If they get out when they could have stayed in and take lower-paying work, that reduction in income will be ignored and child support will continue to be figured as if they were still in the military.

Is Spousal Support Tax Free?

If you pay spousal support, you can subtract it from your income before calculating how much income tax you have to pay. If you receive spousal support, you must add it to your income before calculating how much tax you will have to pay. If you receive spousal support, you should pay the estimated income tax on your spousal support quarterly. If you don’t, you may owe a penalty. Plus, it’s a good idea to base your budget on what you will have after taxes are subtracted.

If you receive $1,000 a month in spousal support, you may have to come up with several thousand dollars next April 15. If you spend every dollar as it comes in, you may come up short when the income tax on it comes due. So you should estimate, for each monthly payment, how much of it you will ultimately have to pay in federal and state income tax. Then put that part of the support into a savings account and use that money to cover your quarterly estimated payments.

If you need legal advice about your Virginia Divorce call us now to (757) 491-0240 or (757) 619-5304

Pleading the Fifth about Adultery in a Virginia Divorce

No one wants to be interrogated about adultery. Even someone who has never done anything adulterous will find the grilling offensive.  So it is quite common for people to invoke their 5th amendment right to remain silent in the face of such questions. Former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich invoked the 5th amendment in his divorce.  And had former President Bill Clinton done the same, he would probably not have have been impeached and would not have lost his Arkansas law license.

Virginia Code Section 18.2-365 makes adultery a misdemeanor in Virginia.  It says:  “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.”

There is considerable doubt whether this law is constitutional.  The U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Lawrence v. Texas held that sodomy laws are unconstitutional.  And the Virginia Supreme Court in Martin v. Ziherl held that Virginia’s law criminalizing fornication was unconstitutional.  So it is easy to see adultery laws being the next to be held unconstitutional.

That said,  the law is still on the books and a prosecution for violating it, however unlikely, is still possible.  So if you are married, you cannot be compelled to answer questions about sexual activity with people other than your spouse.

The issue then becomes whether you can be asked about non-sexual activity with the suspected paramour.   For example, a question about whether you entered a hotel with the paramour does not ask about sexual activity directly, but it comes close enough that you should be able to decline to answer it.  In contrast, a question about whether you knew the person or had lunch with them would be more likely to be found permissible.  The argument is that such questions provide “links in a chain of evidence” that could support the inference that adultery occurred.  The sturdier the link, the more likely it is you will not have to answer the question.

I like to subpoena the paramour and ask them about it.  In one case, the paramour was unmarried.  You will notice that the law refers to a person who, “being married” has sexual intercourse.   I took the position that because they were not married, they could never commit adultery and therefore had no fear of prosecution.  The commissioner in chancery hearing the case agreed and required the paramour to testify to the adultery.  In another case with a similar scenario, the paramour took the 5th amendment during their deposition claiming they might be prosecuted for “conspiracy to commit adultery.”   The case settled and we never got a ruling on whether that objection was valid.

The takeaway is that you can avoid the indignity of questions about sexual misconduct by invoking your 5th amendment rights and the party seeking to prove the adultery will have find another way to prove it.

 

If you need legal advice about your Virginia Divorce call us now to (757) 491-0240 or (757) 619-5304

MORE FAQs

VIDEO: Effect of Adultery

Effect of Adultery in Virginia Divorce Cases.

VIDEO: Removing Roadblocks

Removing Roadblocks to Divorce.

About Us

We are experienced family law attorneys. We guide our clients through the confusing legal maze they face when they go through a Virginia divorce, Virginia child custody proceedings, an adoption or a criminal case in the Juvenile Court. We regularly appear in both the Juvenile and Circuit Courts of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and York County – Poquoson.We have created this website to help you learn more about the Virginia laws regarding divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support and juvenile justice. The articles on this site are not legal advice. They are general explanations that are written in plain English that we hope will help you to better understand the law and the court system.

We hope that, after reading the articles on our site, you will have a better picture of the rules and how things work in court.

If you need legal advice call us now
Bob Jeffries Law, PC
Office: 757-491-0240
Cell: 757-619-5304
e-mail: mt@bobjeffrieslaw.com

Please only provide your name, your contact information, and the name of the other party to your case.  We are required to check whether we have ever spoken with the other party before you can tell us any details beyond this minimum information.

If you need legal advice call us now
Bob Jeffries Law, PC
Office: 757-491-0240
Cell: 757-619-5304
e-mail: mt@bobjeffrieslaw.com

Please only provide your name, your contact information, and the name of the other party to your case. We are required to check whether we have ever spoken with the other party before you can tell us any details beyond this minimum information.

Contact Us

Bob Jeffries Law, PC
1060 Laskin Road, Suite 22B
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Bob Jeffries Law, PC
Office: 757-491-0240
Cell: 757-619-5304
e-mail: mt@bobjeffrieslaw.com
Fax: (757) 491-0247

Please only provide your name, your contact information, and the name of the other party to your case.  We are required to check whether we have ever spoken with the other party before you can tell us any details beyond this minimum information.

Location

Virginia Divorce & Virginia Child Custody lawyer Robert Jeffries | Information and legal advice about Virginia Divorce. Experienced Virginia Divorce and Virginia Custody Lawyer. We guide our clients through the confusing legal maze they face when they go through a Virginia Divorce.
DISCLAIMER | TERMS OF SERVICE
The information here is intended to provide a general understanding only. We hope it will be helpful as a starting point for you. It is not intended as legal advice. You should not make any decision based on what you read here. Instead, use this information to help pick a good lawyer and ask the right questions. Use of this site will not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and this firm or any of its attorneys. This site is a form of advertising. Copyright © 2010-2014 Law Office of Diane Fener