A divorce court was within bounds in concluding that a wife who shared an apartment with a friend might not be committing adultery with him, Virginia's Court of Appeals says in Kidd v. Kidd. The husband said the wife had admitted the adultery, but she denied that and the trial court apparently did not believe him. The wife claimed she lived with the friend primarily so he could care for her during her cancer treatments, which the husband refused to do. The other man's wife claimed they were committing adultery, but it was not clear that she was an authoritative witness.
But, the Court says, evidence which is not enough, under Virginia's high standards of proving and corroborating a divorce case, can still be used under the lower, more commonsensical standard for determining the behavior-related factors in property division:
The law permits the circuit court to find that a spouse has failed to meed the higher burden of proof as to the basis for the divorce, but to consider adulterout behavior as proved insofar as it related to the equitable distribution determination.
Under this standard, though, the Court upholds the 50-50 division of property, because while it was proper to take the adultery into account, that adultery was from before the couple reconciled and the husband "condoned" the adultery, and the only sign of an affair that was after the condonation, but before the final separation, was the husband's testimony.
The Court also upheld an alimony award because the wife made $34,000 and the husband made $78,000, and the wife had some medical conditions and had trouble paying her bills. The friend and the wife's father continued to support her financially, but rather than hurting her case, that was cited as evidence of her need.