By the end of this year, many married couples in Virginia will be among others across the country who end their marriages. Which spouse files for divorce often depends on individual circumstances. In many cases, such as a recent court filing by freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, infidelity is alleged.
Omar’s professional life often makes headlines. Her career in the U.S. Congress has sparked controversy. In fact, there have reportedly been threats against the congresswoman’s life. Now, it is her personal life that is a central focus of media attention, as she recently filed for divorce from her husband, with whom she has three children.
It is often the spouse who was cheated on who decides to end a marriage. In Omar’s case, however, she is the one who filed the divorce petition and she is also the one who has allegedly been having an extramarital affair with one of her political aides, who likewise happens to be currently navigating divorce proceedings. Omar wants shared physical and legal custody of her children. She also says she trusts the court to determine a fair and equitable division of her marital property.
In a Virginia family court, a judge overseeing a particular divorce always has children’s best interests at the forefront when making decisions regarding child custody, visitation, child support and other important issues. In most cases, the court believes that shared custody, such as Representative Omar has requested in her divorce, is best. If a parent believes a co-parent has placed children at risk (which is what the spouse of Omar’s political aide has alleged, citing the fact that her husband exposed his children to Omar, who is known to have had threats made against her life) he or she can request sole custody.