At common law a husband had a legal duty' to support his wife and children. Today in Virginia failure to support one's family is not simply a violation of a legal duty, it is a criminal act, carrying a penalty of up to twelve months at hard labor for the delinquent husband. The wife, however, without resorting to this criminal action, can effectuate the same result in a civil proceeding before a divorce court.
Lack of Due Process in Virginia Contempt Proceeding For Failure to Comply With Order For Support and Alimony,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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