When you legally separate from your spouse, this usually means you’re no longer living together but you haven’t gone through…
Cruelty & Divorce in Virginia Divorce Law
Divorce Lawyers Serving Ashburn, Leesburg, Arlington & the Rest of Northern VA
When filing for divorce in Northern Virginia, spouses have two options. The first circumstance is when both parties agree that their marriage is over and file for no-fault divorce. If both parties do not agree to file, the other may be able to use a fault-ground for divorce, such as cruelty.
Cruelty is not easy to prove as grounds for divorce in Northern Virginia, however, if your spouse has physically or emotionally harmed you and causes you to fear for your safety in your home, call Graham Law Firm. The divorce lawyers at our family law firm will meet with you for a divorce consultation to discuss your fault grounds for cruelty.
Types of Cruelty in a Divorce
The state of Virginia does not grant a final divorce unless proof of cruelty exists. Many spouses seeking a divorce often ask us what constitutes as a ground of cruelty. The cruelty ground requires proof of “cruelty or reasonable apprehension of bodily hurt.” There are two types of cruelty recognized in Northern Virginia divorce courts. These are:
- Physical cruelty – Acts of physical violence and physical conduct that endangers your life, safety, and/or health constitutes as a ground of cruelty in a divorce.
- Emotional cruelty – Also known as “mental cruelty,” “extreme cruelty,” or “cruel and inhumane treatment,” abusive language, humiliating statements, and/or repeated neglect constitutes as emotional cruelty in a divorce. Emotional cruelty may not be provoked by a spouse. In today’s legal system, any conduct exhibited by your spouse that causes mental suffering to you is more than likely sufficient to be deemed emotional cruelty.
How to Prove Cruelty for Divorce in Virginia?
Proving cruelty as a grounds for divorce to a judge can be difficult. If you live in Northern Virginia and believe you have suffered from cruelty, give us a call. Our award-winning divorce lawyers can discuss your grounds for cruelty during a divorce consultation.
Cruelty is grounds for divorce and can be proved by providing evidence of a succession of acts or a single act of cruelty (if severe enough). Some examples of evidence with the best chance of standing up in court include:
- Corroboration by a third party – This would include members of the police force, family, friends, or anyone else confirming that they witnessed cruel acts takes place.
- Physical evidence – Physical evidence includes items such as photographs, videos, hospital records, or anything that depicts physical or verbal cruelty.
Other acts that are considered to qualify as cruelty in a divorce by the state of Virginia include being afflicted with a sexually transmitted disease, repeated yelling, screaming, or displays of rage, constant criticizing of a spouses abilities as a homemaker, parent, spouse, or breadwinner, and publicly displaying a relationship with another person.
The best way to prove any act of cruelty for a fault divorce is to have your claims corroborated by a third party.
If you have proof of cruelty or need guidance proving your fault-ground divorce in Northern Virginia, contact us now.
Is There a Time Limit to Prove Cruelty in a Divorce?
When filing for divorce in Northern Virginia, proof of cruelty in a divorce must be present within the previous five years. Additionally, a final divorce cannot be granted based on grounds of cruelty in Virginia until at least one year after a couple files for divorce.
Northern Virginia Divorce Lawyers
The divorce lawyers at Graham Law Firm, PLLC have the experience and law expertise to look out for you.
During your consultation, our divorce lawyers will discuss your grounds for divorce and any potential proof of cruelty you may have. Call us today.
Our divorce law and family law jurisdictions include:
Arlington County (VA): Arlington & Crystal City
Fairfax County (VA): Annandale, Herndon, Laurel Hill, McLean, Reston, Tysons Corner & Vienna
Fauquier County (VA): Bealeton, Orlean, Warrenton
Loudoun County (VA): Ashburn, Leesburg, Purcellville, Sterling
Prince William County (VA): Gainesville, Lake Ridge, Woodbridge
Northern VA: City of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Manassas, Manassas Park & Winchester
Other grounds for fault-based divorce in Northern Virginia: