Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

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Latest post Thu, Apr 5 2007 10:03 PM by ckstaggs. 16 replies.
  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 10:08 AM

    • jdns
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    Question [=?] Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    I am involved and am now living with a man who is going through a divorce. He has a separation agreement in place that addresses custody and visitation. He has two daughters ages 8 and 16. Aside from a passage within the agreement titled Personal lives that states, " Husband and Wife agree that it shall be lawful for each party hereafter to live separate and apart, continuously and uninterrupted for the rest of their lives at such place or places as he or she may choose or deem fit and conduct his or her personal and social life as freely and as fully as if he or she were sole and unmarried etc etc", the agreement does not contain or address the wife's opposition to the girls staying overnight at our residence. However, he has been unable to excercise the weekend overnight visitation he is allowed and stated so, in the agreement, because his wife and her attorney say it is a "no-no" (his wife's attorney's words as quoted from a letter) and referred to a Virginia code or law. Basically his wife and her attorney have stated that as long as we live together unmarried the girls will not be permitted to stay overnights with their dad. Indefinitely. Is there a Va code and/or law that refers to this, can it be upheld in court? Is there anything he can do legally to force his wife to allow him his legal weekend/overnight visitations with his daughters? Both he and his wife reside in the state of Virginia and have always done so.

    Any help or assistance will be greatly appreciated!
  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 10:33 AM In reply to

    • able2345
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    re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    Ask the attorney to provide the statute that states he and the ex have a right to illegally interfere with a court order.
    That being said, typically a court will not want to see parents living with another person during visitation prior to a divorce being finalized.
  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 11:31 AM In reply to

    Sad [:(] re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    Moving in with Dad before he is even divorced wasn't the greatest idea. The kids are already going through enough. Is it really in the kids best interest to see Dad shacking up with his girlfriend already?

    I am not sure if there is a code addressing this, but if mom is able to get this into the final decree, that is going to leave Dad without overnights as long as you live with him. Maybe its time to back off just for a little bit until he is divorced?

    Also any agreement made Mom would need to abide by as well.

  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 12:33 PM In reply to

    • peridot
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    Search through Title 20 of the VA Code:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC2000000
  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 1:43 PM In reply to

    • jdns
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    re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    I did not provide all the details and personal information because I did not believe it was pertinent to the question asked. While I thank you for your time taken to reply.....your response about "backing off" and " the kids already going through enough" do not even apply to the question(s) asked, they are merely YOUR personal opinion.

    First- we are not "shacking" up. We are in a well discussed, well explored committed relationship. I am in my 40's and do not take relationships so lightly as to just "shack up" as you so crudely put it. I have five children of my own and am a dedicated, committed, mom. I am open, up front and very communicative with my own children and his daughters. Second- what I did not share because I did not think it pertinent is that there are points in our early relationship where he wasnt quite honest with me regarding his marital situation. When the relationship began I was led to believe he was divorced for several years. As we continued on seeing each other, just dating, we became very emotionally involved. And then emotionally committed. Before he moved in I sat down with my children and discussed the possibility. I opened the floor with them to discuss, share and explore their feelings on this. I listened, I respected and then went from there. He moved in and the truth was eventually revealed. By this time we were emotionally involved deeply. We sat down and discussed every aspect of his choices, poor as they were. We now approach every part of our relationship with honesty and openness and yes, I decided I loved him and wanted to remain in a relationship with him. He made poor choices but is a good man, and even went to his wife and accepted accountability and responsibility for his actions. So when you made your PERSONAL opinion to "back off" you did not know all the facts and certainly did not provide a reply or answer pertaining to the questions.
  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 4:49 PM In reply to

    • charosolo
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    I also live in VA and have yet to find VA Code that refers to a change of child custody as a result of unmarried cohabitation.

    HOWEVER, this VA Code does make the act of unmarried cohabitation illegal and punishable as a misdemeanor....(giving some judges the inclination to consider it during child custody evals).

    http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm

    VA Code 18.2-345 Lewd and Lascivious cohabitation.
  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 7:04 PM In reply to

    • jdns
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    More [=+=] re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    Actually he doesn't want a change of child custody. Nor is there a custody evaluation expected or presently being conducted. Currently according to the agreement in place, she has physical custody and they have joint custody.

    The issue is he was granted weekend visitation/overnight visitation, every other weekend and has not been allowed to excercise this visitation by their mother. He has been unable to excercise his weekend visitation because the girls mother and her attorney are referring to this Va code/law that states something about unmarried individuals cohabitating and somehow its supposed to relate to visitation. Prior to the agreement being signed by both and notarized a hearing was held in front of a judge. The judge asked both parties and their attorney if there were any other issues, concerns or oppositions that needed to be addressed prior to the agreement being completed/signed etc. Neither his wife or her attorney spoke up about being opposed to the girls spending overnight weekend visitation at our house. It is not written into the agreement either.
  • Fri, Mar 30 2007 7:04 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    News [|*|] re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    The fact of the matter is this:

    You ARE in an adulterous relatinship with a man who is still narried to someone else. The wife certainly can ask the court not to allow overnight stays while he is living with you. If the court believes your relationship is detrimental to the children she might get that order.

    In any event he should be discussing this with HIS attorney.
  • Sat, Mar 31 2007 3:06 AM In reply to

    • jdns
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    Question [=?] re: Virginia Cohabitation law/code?

    he has went to that site and we actually both tried to look but couldn't find anything that specifically mentions cohabitation of unmarried couples and visitation of minor children. We could perhaps of overlooked it.......would you be able to point us more in the right direction? Thank you.
  • Sat, Mar 31 2007 4:33 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Feedback [*=*] Requires lewdness and/or lasciviousness . . .

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-345

    They are probably on shaky ground denying visits on the basis of this, absent some evidence that you guys are engaged in some goofy behavior.

    I know you didn't appreciate the comments you found off-topic, but it IS true that many judges do NOT appreciate the parents engaged in a divorce to start new relationships. It confuses kids and it mangles the divorce.

    If he wasn't living with you right now, he may be getting his visits, right? A judge will recognize that.
  • Mon, Apr 2 2007 4:39 AM In reply to

    • jdns
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    More [=+=] re: Requires lewdness and/or lasciviousness . . .

    From what she and her attorney say yes, he would be allowed his overnight visitation if we werent residing together. Which, to me, is strange because she has asked where he is taking the girls when he picks them up for the one afternoon a week visitation she currently allows him to excercise. He, of course, bring them here. To his house, our residence and tells her that. Obviously she is alright with the fact that he does bring them to our home because so far she has continued to allow him the one afternoon a week visitation.

    If I thought that this is something that will be resolved once he is divorced then I would tell him, not ask, tell him to find a place of his own to get the time with his girls until his divorce is finalized in six months. But she has indicated to him verbally as well as through the letter from her attorney that even after divorce overnight visitations will not be allowed while we are living together unmarried. This again referring to this Va code or law. And no, marriage is not an option. By my choice, not his.
  • Mon, Apr 2 2007 4:32 PM In reply to

    • charosolo
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    Feedback [*=*] VA code or law....?

    The poster stated that the ex-wife and attorney referred to a VA code......VA code 18.2-345 was the ONLY code I could find which remotely relates to the ex-wife and attorney's claim of inappropriate cohabitation.

    I will addresss the poster's comments as well, but I don't believe the comments I made were "off-topic".
  • Mon, Apr 2 2007 4:44 PM In reply to

    • charosolo
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    Feedback [*=*] custody

    "...Actually he doesn't want a change of child custody. Nor is there a custody evaluation expected or presently being conducted...."

    Whether he "wants" a change of child custody or not, eventually won't the temporary separation agreement and custody order need to be finalized into a divorce decree and permanent custody order? At that point in time, the children's mother may TRY to use inappropriate cohabitation as an argument against the children's overnight visitation. (I was just trying to look ahead.)

    Until that point in time, if the children's father is entitled by court order to have overnight visitation and the children's mother is denying that right, she may be held in contempt for violating the court order. The children's father could bring a contempt action against her....at which time her attorney plans to enlighten the court about your cohabitation with the children's father. So what?! What VA code are you supposedly in violation of?

  • Mon, Apr 2 2007 7:47 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Ok [+0+] re: VA code or law....?

    The OP found some of the comments off-topic. I've got no dog in that fight. Most anything is open in my opinion, because people in family situations can't see the forest for the trees, often.
  • Tue, Apr 3 2007 6:27 AM In reply to

    • jdns
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    re: custody

    Once again I'd like to thank everyone for replying. Although mostly personal opinions and feelings .....I respect everyone has a right to have them.

    When I came here some two years ago, when going through my own separation and then divorce I received some very valuable and useful advice and information. Which is why I referred the man I am involved with here. His attorney charges 40 dollars just to answer a quick question on the telephone, the reply which usually comes days later on a voicemail from his secretary. He doesn't have alot of money nor do I. He was hoping to get some insight on this Va code or law so that he could hopefully be with his children more than 2 1/2 hrs one afternoon a week. As stated, according to what she and her attorney indicated in a letter, she plans on opposing overnight visitation as long as we live together unmarried even after the divorce. Even though its not stated so in the separation agreement which will be incorporated into the divorce. His attorney just forwarded a copy of the letter to him without a response to him or to his wife's attorney. He does plan on requesting the exact code or law they're referring to though as suggested here.

    Thanks to all again.
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