About Abby McNelis

Abby McNelis is an associate attorney at Livesay & Myers, P.C., practicing exclusively family law. She works in the firm’s office in Fairfax, and represents client all across Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.

Here are the most recent posts by this author:


Adultery and the Fifth Amendment in Virginia Divorce Cases

Posted on September 13th, 2019, by Abby McNelis in Divorce, Family Law. No Comments

Under Virginia law, cheating on a spouse is illegal. In Virginia, any married person who voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person who is not his or her spouse is guilty of adultery, which is punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor. The maximum criminal penalty for adultery is a $250 fine, but the ramifications in a divorce action may be much more severe. Adultery can be used as a fault ground to obtain a divorce, may be a bar to spousal support and can be considered regarding child custody and equitable distribution of marital property.

Even so, what happens when a cheating spouse invokes his or her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination? In Virginia, a party can exercise his or her constitutional privilege against self-incrimination in both criminal and civil actions. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a cheating spouse’s … Read More »


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