VA House of Delegates OKs bill regarding adultery in divorce cases
Posted on Feb 10, 2010
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch website recently:
"After a debate about the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the House of Delegates advanced for final passage today a measure designed to determine adulterous relationships in divorce proceedings.
If one of the parties pleads the Fifth, it would be an "adverse inference" against the party, under House Bill 14, introduced by Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince Williams.
Del. Scott A. Surovell, D-Fairfax, objected, saying the right against self-incrimination was put into the Virginia Declaration of Rights by no less an authority than George Mason.
"This is encroaching on the Bill of Rights, which is a big deal," said Del. Ward L. Armstrong, D-Henry County, a lawyer.
Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, also a lawyer, defended the measure, saying there are constitutional precedents for it. It is very difficult to prove adultery in divorce cases, he said."