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What Are Fault-Based Divorces?

Hands of wife, husband signing decree of divorce

When someone announces that they are deciding to file for a divorce, the first question that might come to mind is if there is a reason why. In most divorce cases, a spouse will have their own reasoning for wanting the marriage to end. These reasonings are known as grounds for divorce, as we explained in a previous blog.

In order to file for a fault-based divorce, one spouse must have done something that resulted in the breakdown of the marriage. Continue reading to learn more about the requirements of fault-based divorces.

Reasons for Fault-Based Divorce

One key requirement of filing for a fault-based divorce is being able to demonstrate that your spouse’s actions have directly caused your marriage to end. This may sound easy enough, but it can be difficult to provide sufficient evidence or proof of spousal misconduct. Let us review the fault-based reasons for divorce that are established in Virginia:

  • Your spouse has cheated on you.

  • Your spouse has abandoned or deserted you.

  • Your spouse emotionally or physically abuses you.

  • Your spouse has been imprisoned for one year or longer.

Now that we have reviewed these reasons, it is important to consider how proof of these occurrences is necessary.

Having Proof of Misconduct

If your spouse has done one of the above fault-based reasons for divorce and you wish to end your marriage, you will have to provide proof of your circumstances. For example, if your spouse commits adultery, just having text message exchanges or emails may not be enough. Sometimes individuals will seek assistance from a private investigator to gather proof of a cheating spouse. In other situations like domestic violence, you will need to provide documentation such as police reports or photos. When trying to gather your evidence, it is helpful to have an attorney on your side.

Helping You Through Your Fault-Based Divorce

If your spouse has directly caused the end of your marriage, it is crucial that you have an attorney that is willing to fight for you in your case. The team at Bush & Taylor, P.C. can help you gather sufficient evidence to help prove the circumstances of your fault-based divorce.


Reach our office today at (757) 926-0078 to schedule a consultation.