Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Desertion and/or Adultery

My wife told me she wants a seperation or a divorce, my choice. I told her I did not want a divorce. She now wants to move out ''for a few months'', and wants me to sign a no-fault agreement that states I will not hold her responsable for many things, including desertion or adultery. I don't know what to do, but I know I want the marriage to work and feel I should do anything that keeps the relationship open. Should I sign it?

Asked on 8/12/01, 3:30 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lisa Lane McDevitt McDevitt Law Office

Re: Desertion and/or Adultery

NO, NO, NO. Do not sign that document if you are not in agreement to the divorce. In VA if you sign a separation agreement and you have no minor children she can use that document to get divorced from you within 6 months of the time she moves out. I'd refuse to sign to have some time for things to settle down. Keep in mind, however, that she could still get a divorce within one year of moving out even if you do object, but that extra six months could help emotions die down. Also, if she leaves you could sue for desertion or defend yourself on the grounds of desertion but that will only help you in the marital property distribution. Do you have property of value? If not, it may not worth your while to bother litigating the issue of desertion.

Give me a call if you need further information. You can reach me at 703-968-3974.

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Answered on 8/22/01, 5:55 pm

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