Can adultery affect my divorce?
The list of email addresses hacked from the adultery site Ashley Madison is slowly making the rounds in the media, and those who find their spouses on the list may find themselves suddenly contemplating the end of their marriages. While infidelity is certainly one reason many couples choose to part ways, there are some important things to keep in mind.
To get a divorce in Canada, you need to show that there was a breakdown in the marriage. Normally, couples have to have been living apart for at least a year before a divorce can be granted, but this requirement is waived in cases of infidelity. If you can prove that your spouse did have a physical affair, it may mean a quicker, easier divorce and less time spent in the emotional upheaval of the legal process.
However, if you are thinking about using the fact that your spouse had an affair against him or her in the divorce, for grounds other than just to prove infidelity, it’s important to understand that legally the fact that your spouse was unfaithful doesn’t have much bearing. The Canadian courts will not use proof of an affair to penalize someone in the areas of child support, spousal support, custody or visitations schedule.
That being said, the larger circumstances surrounding the affair may come into play, and that’s one reason why it’s important to discuss your case with a lawyer. Sometimes the money spent on the affair can have an effect on the property division settlement, and it may be of use in any mediation discussions as well.
Source: The Huffington Post Canada, “How Would Finding Your Spouse on the Ashley Madison List Affect Your Divorce?,” Andrew Feldstein, Aug. 21, 2015
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