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The Impact Of Adultery On Divorce

The Impact of Adultery on Divorce

How Adultery Impacts Filing For Divorce

The Calgary Stampede gets a bad reputation with family law lawyers. And while we wish we could say it’s mostly all rumours and speculation, we have come to find there is some truth behind phrases like “it’s not cheatin’, it’s stampedin’”. With 10 days dedicated to rodeos, drinking and having a good time, it’s really no surprise some people take it a little too far. Our divorce lawyers share what you need to know if you suspect your spouse is cheating.

The Grounds For Divorce In Canada

According to the Divorce Act there are 3 grounds for legal divorce in Canada:

  1. one-year separation;
  2. adultery; and
  3. physical and mental cruelty.

The most common ground for filing for divorce in Canada is one-year separation as this is a no-fault divorce and easiest to prove in court. If you choose to file for divorce using the grounds of adultery, the party who committed adultery must sign an affidavit stating specific details regarding same. This affidavit will then become part of the public record. As such, it can be very difficult to file for divorce based on adultery. It’s also extremely important to note that regardless of how you choose to file for divorce, there will be no impact on the courts decisions regarding parenting or support. As well, your spouse will not be required to pay more money in spousal support because they committed adultery.

Filing for Divorce On The Grounds Of Adultery

If you do decide to proceed with filing for divorce using adultery as the grounds, there are some important aspects to consider. For starters, mere suspicion of adultery is not enough to prove the claim, you will have to prove the other party was unfaithful by having them swear an affidavit stating the details of the affair. Note, this can be extremely difficult to do as many people do not want this to be part of the public record. As well, an emotional affair is not accepted as adultery. The law states there must be physical sexual relations outside the marriage. And, the length of the affair does not impact the divorce, it could have been a 1-time fling or an ongoing relationship. Finally, the adultery must have occurred before the divorce application is brought.

Signs Your Spouse is Cheating

Many people claim to feel a “suspicion” or “intuition” which leads them to investigate further into their spouse’s potential affair. If you suspect your spouse is cheating it’s likely based on a change in their behaviour or signs of physical evidence. A sudden change in your communication style is often an indication your spouse may be cheating. They may become withdrawn and not open up about ordinary things such as what they did that day or they may start over-sharing as a way to compensate for their infidelity. You may find yourself catching them in seemingly meaningless lies such as where they have been spending money as they try to cover their trail. While there are many signs that may indicate your spouse is cheating, it may not always be the case. If you are questioning your spouse’s faithfulness it may be time to sit them down and have an open conversation about your concerns.


Disclaimer: The content provided in the blog posts of Jones Divorce & Family Law is general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. All articles are current as of their original publication date.