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The standard of proof for these grounds is the same as that for adultery. The "guilty" spouse has a number of "defenses" to the charge of adultery, sodomy, or buggery.If the guilty spouse can successfully establish any one of these defenses, then a divorce will not be awarded on these grounds.

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To be grounds for divorce, it must be committed with someone outside the marriage.

Buggery is bestiality or a sexual act against nature.

Annulments are granted only in limited circumstances such as a marriage entered into because of fraud, duress, or coercion.

An annulment cannot be granted merely because the marriage is of short duration, and legal annulments are normally not granted for "religious" reasons.

In fact, most cases of adultery are proven without eyewitness testimony by using other evidence of the circumstances involved.

Sodomy is a sexual act, other than intercourse, such as oral or anal sex.

In general, debt is considered “marital debt” if it is in the joint names of the parties and was incurred before the date of the last separation of the parties or, for debt that is in only one party’s name, if the debt was incurred after the date of marriage and before the date of the last separation of the parties.

On the other hand, “separate debt” is debt incurred in only one party’s name before the marriage or after the date of the final separation of the parties.

The Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar prepared this information to provide the public with basic answers to some of the fundamental legal questions concerning divorce and separation in Virginia.

We hope that this information will help people understand some of the complications that can arise in this area of the law.

If the desertion continues for more than one year from the date the parties originally separated, then the desertion is sufficient to constitute a ground for divorce from the bond of matrimony. Cruelty and reasonable apprehension of bodily harm Cruelty authorizing divorce requires acts that tend to cause bodily harm and render the spouses living together unsafe.

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