MCNICHOLAS V. MCNICHOLAS, 2004 VA. CIR. LEXIS 117 (VA. CIR. CT. JUNE 14, 2004)
Before the court for determination was a divorce between plaintiff husband and defendant wife. Issues for determination included grounds for the divorce, equitable distribution, support, and attorney fees. The husband had filed for the divorce on the ground of adultery.
It was undisputed that the wife committed adultery. The court was unable to grant a divorce to the husband based on adultery, despite the husband having presented sufficient evidence to support his allegation. The court held the husband’s continued allowance of his wife to live at the marital home and care for their children, despite his knowledge of her adultery, the children’s exposure to the wife’s lover, and the fact that the wife may have left the children unattended to be with her lover, compelled the court to grant a divorce to the husband on the ground of having lived separate and apart without cohabitation and without interruption for one year under Va. Code § 20-91(9). The court was unable to equitably divide most of the parties’ personal property because neither party offered any evidence of the value of such personal property. The court awarded the wife permanent alimony upon discerning that a manifest injustice would have occurred if it denied such permanent spousal support, as the husband had a vastly superior economic condition.
The court awarded the husband a divorce, made an equitable distribution of the parties’ personal property, and awarded the wife permanent alimony and $ 10,000 toward attorney fees.
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