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Fairfax Separation In Virginia
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Campbell v. Campbell
The husband and the wife entered into an agreement to divorce in which the husband gave the wife cash, furniture, and a truck in consideration of the release of the husband of his obligation to provide her with maintenance and support. During the two-year period of the separation agreement, the husband and the wife frequently cohabited. Despite the wife’s persistent efforts to reconcile the marriage, the husband instituted proceedings claiming that the agreement of separation was valid, and that desertion was a ground for divorce. The trial court dismissed the case. The court affirmed.
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The Virginia Court made the following holding:
- Mere separation by mutual consent is not a desertion by either party.When a separation of husband and wife is by agreement or where the husband assents to, or acquiesces in, the wife’s separation from him, he cannot maintain a suit for divorce on the ground of desertion. A separation by mutual consent does not amount to desertion or abandonment in the law.
- Desertion can only be complained of when it is against the will of the party who is deserted, and constitutes a grievance which deprives him of the society of his wife without his consent or acquiescence. If there be a separation by consent, that consent shows that the parties deem it no grievance to be deprived of each other’s society, and nothing but an unconditional and entire resumption of their early relations can restore them to such a position as would make a new separation by the departure of the wife, as in this case, a criminal desertion.
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