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Posts from the ‘Affairs – Adultery’ Category

Thinking of Doing Some Cyber-Sleuthing? Think Again

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Thinking of Doing Some Cyber-Sleuthing? Think Again

I wrote a recent Blog about the admissibility of surreptitiously-recorded telephone conversations in Family law proceedings.  I have also written several times on how courts approach the admission of Facebook evidence.

Particularly in nasty divorce and custody disputes, it is likely that courts will have to grapple with these kinds of issues regularly, given how easy its become for spouses to try to secretly gather evidence against each other, using a Smartphone, keystroke logger, spyware, etc.

But for the average embattled spouse locked in bitter litigation, how effective is this as an evidence-gathering mechanism for use in Family court?

The answer:  Not very.

Under Canadian law, secretly-gathered computer data, emails, internet history, video, audio and similar evidence is generally not admissible in routine Family law hearings, except in unusual circumstances and only after a court has held a separate mini-hearing, called a voir dire, on the specific issue.  Overall, the odds are not very good that such evidence will be admitted.

Case in point:  In a called T. (T.) v. J.(T.) the court considered a situation where the husband had hacked into his wife’s private email, using the password she had allowed him to have when the marriage was in happier times.   The emails disclosed what was, in the court’s words, “an arguably disturbing exchange between [the wife] and her lawyer, which could be interpreted as evidencing some potential risk or threat to his safety.”  Still, the court found the husband’s email hacking was not only unjustified, it was a clear violation of the wife’s privacy rights.  The court also concluded that the email evidence irrelevant and inadmissible.

Similarly, in a decision in U. (A.J.) v. U. (G.S.) the court considered whether to admit evidence that the husband had collected through the use of spyware he had illegally installed on his former wife’s laptop.  The evidence showed the wife’s activities on internet chat rooms, and established that she had engaged in extra-marital sex.  The court examined the issue in the context of the couple’s dispute over custody and access issues, ultimately concluding that the affair and the online activity was out-of-character for the wife, and was not reflective of her ability to parent the children of the marriage.  The court added that it would be “a rare case” that illegally-obtained evidence should be admitted, and only after the trial judge holds a hearing to determine its admissibility.  The burden was always on the party seeking to enter such evidence to establish “a compelling reason to do so.”

For the full text of the decisions, see:

(A.J.) v. U. (G.S.)

(T.) v. J. (T.)

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders.  For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

 

Is Sex Addiction Relevant to Divorce?

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Is Sex Addiction Relevant to Divorce?

With the recent coverage of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, there has been speculation in the Canadian media about the validity of his claims to have a “sex addiction”, and whether such a so-called affliction really exists at all.

In the Weinstein case, sex addiction is being used by the perpetrator of objectionable and oftentimes criminal behavior towards women.   But in a Family Law case from a few years ago called Yunger v. Zolty, it was the flip-side:  It was the wife who wanted to raise the husband’s sex addiction to bolster her legal position on various disputed issues, namely to shed light on the reason for the marriage breakdown and to cast doubt on his ability to parent their daughter.

But in rejecting the wife’s request for the husband’s medical records on his treatment, the court explained:

Production of the father’s medical records

The mother asks for an order that the father produce his medical records from Bellwood Health Services and any other health care professionals relating to his sexual addictions.

The father denies that he has sexual addictions.  He says he went to counselling in relation to this issue because of pressure placed on him by the mother and her family.  He says he is currently seeing a counsellor to help him deal with the difficult issues arising from the marriage breakdown.

 The mother submits that disclosure of the medical records would assist in determining whether the father had or has sexual addictions and why the marriage broke down.  I have difficulty, however, in understanding how these determinations are relevant to the issues in this litigation.

The mother suggests that the father’s addictions may be related to [their daughter’s] difficulties with her father.  However, there is no evidence, at this point, that this is or may be the case.

The disclosure of medical records is highly intrusive.  There are compelling reasons for preserving the confidentiality of communications between the father and his doctor or therapist.   In the absence of evidence that such records would be relevant to any of the issues in this case, in particular, to the parenting issues, I decline to order that they be disclosed.

Although the court in this case made it clear that alleged sex addiction was not relevant to the particular issues between the divorcing husband and wife, one is left to wonder where there are other scenarios where it might be.

What are your thoughts?

For the full text of the decision, see:

Yunger v. Zolty

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders.  For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

Were Negotiations Contingent on the Husband Ending His Affair?

Were Negotiations Contingent on the Husband Ending His Affair?

In an case I had reported on a few weeks ago, the marriage contract between the husband and wife – drafted by the wife’s lawyer – had contained an inadvertent drafting error, giving the husband the full value of the matrimonial home, when the actual intent was to give him only half. The relationship irrevocably broke down shortly after the agreement was signed. In examining whether the flawed agreement should nonetheless be enforced, the court concluded that the proper solution was to overturn the part containing the error; all the more so because the husband was aware of the drafting mistake and was trying to take advantage of it. This conclusion was confirmed on appeal.

One of the many issues that had to be examined in the case, was the effect on the husband’s extramarital affair on the negotiation process. An earlier judge at trial had been accused of placing undue emphasis on the husband’s cheating, when deciding some of the other issues in the wife’s favour.

That same judge had addressed the impact of the wife’s insistence that if they were to reconcile, he would have to end the affair and get tested for sexually-transmitted diseases. It was against this background, over a brief 3-week period, that the defective marriage contract had been negotiated. As the trial judge explained:

[The wife] had three preconditions to reconciliation. The centrepiece of these conditions was that [the husband] stop his affair immediately and commit to the reconciliation process. [The husband] represented to [the wife] that he terminated his affair. He told her that he was in the wrong and that the most important thing to him was the survival of their marriage and family. On that representation, [the wife] went out of town to consider reconciling with [the husband].

The problem was, that the husband had not actually ended his contact with the woman, even though he told the wife otherwise. Even as one of the last drafts of the marriage contract was being exchanged between the lawyers, he had seen his affair partner only days earlier, while on a business trip to California.

The trial judge had to examine the effect of this revelation on the validity of the contract.

The husband’s promise that he would be committed to reconciliation, and his devoting to making the marriage work, imposed a heightened obligation of good faith on him, the judge found.   Marriage contracts, unlike separation agreements, are subject to an utmost duty of good faith and fair dealing between the spouses. The judge disagreed with prior rulings that suggested that an extramarital affair need not be disclosed because the Family Law Act and the Family Law Rules deal only with financial disclosure by spouses. Instead, the judge found that an affair could be relevant particularly if the couple was negotiating a marriage contract in circumstances of attempted reconciliation.

With that said, the trial judge applied the principles to these facts:

In this case, [the husband] told [the wife] that he had ended the affair and that his total dedication was to seeing the marriage work. This fact alone was a prerequisite for [the wife] to entertain the idea of entering into a process of reconciliation and, eventually, give this process priority over her involvement in the negotiation process of the Marriage Contract, which dealt with her most substantial assets.

I find that the perception created in [the wife’s] mind that [the husband] was committed to the marriage due to the termination of his affair renders evidence that he continued to see this woman during the negotiation process of the Marriage Contract relevant.

However, the trial judge went on to make an important distinction on these facts: The husband had admitted to continuing to see his affair partner in California, but he did not admit that he was actually continuing the affair with her. As he explained:

Having said that, I cannot find on the evidence in this case that [the husband] continued to have an affair with this other woman during the negotiation process. In this regard, I find the following:

(1) [The husband] admitted to [the wife] that he was having an affair and that he wanted out of the marriage at the end of March 2006.

(2) Although he stated in his evidence that he ended the affair when he committed to reconciliation, he admitted that he continued to see this same woman during the negotiation period. The woman with whom [the husband] was having an affair lived in California and he admitted to travelling through California in July 2006 in the midst of the Marriage Contract negotiations. Admitting to continuing to see her does not allow me to conclude that he was continuing the affair.

I do not find that [the husband’s] affair with this other woman impacted on the negotiation process. Although [the husband’s] resumption of his affair, at the time that his wife was in the extreme vulnerable state that she was, is reprehensible, such conduct cannot be connected to the issue of whether this Marriage Contract should be set aside.

The matter went on to later appeal, with the court focusing on other grounds. But it was an interesting, and rather thinly-sliced, legal issue and conclusion.

What are your thoughts on the trial judge’s reasoning?

For the full text of the decisions, see:

Stevens v. Stevens, 2012 ONSC 706 (CanLII)

Related Appeal and Costs decisions:

Stevens v. Stevens, 2013 ONCA 267 (CanLII)

Stevens v. Stevens, 2012 ONSC 6881 (CanLII)

At Russell Alexander Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

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Wife’s Accusations About Husband’s Infidelities “A Waste of Time”

Wife’s Accusations About Husband’s Infidelities “A Waste of Time”

In a case I covered a few weeks ago, the spouses were divorcing and were in the process of untangling their disputes relating to support and division of assets. As part of that litigation, the wife asked the court’s permission to amend her pleadings to add allegations that the husband, while still married, had frittered away some of their money by spending it on a 10-year adulterous affair, on ordering male and female escort services, and for membership fees to an adult fetish website.

The wife claimed this was relevant to how their Net Family Property should be divided; she wanted the court to impose an unequal split in her favour, to account for the money the husband allegedly frittered away on these activities.

In this context, the Court of Appeal quickly corralled the wife’s use of these accusations to finance-related issues, not bigger-picture ones impugning the husband’s character or hinting at scandal. More importantly, the court found it was not even relevant as a ground for divorce anymore. It stated:

Legislation, jurisprudence and the practice of family law have evolved over the last decades in an attempt to eradicate allegations of marital misconduct unrelated to financial consequences. Fault grounds for divorce are rarely used, having been replaced, in practice, with separation grounds. This approach recognizes that family litigation has the potential to leave families worse at the end of the case than they were at the beginning. It recognizes that resolution is the preferred outcome. Inflammatory allegations impede resolution.

The statements about the husband’s conduct are inflammatory. They are – in my view – there to provide a springboard to question the husband about his extra-marital conduct, not about his net family property. As [Justice] Blair J.A. said in Serra v. Serra, … it is the financial consequence of the conduct that is relevant, not the conduct itself. Extended questioning of the husband’s conduct … that is unrelated to financial consequences would be inflammatory, a nuisance and a waste of time.

In other words, the trend in Ontario Family Law is to confine the relevance of marital misconduct allegations to finance-related matters only – not to find “fault” or penalize a spouse for his or her conduct during the marriage. And, as the Appeal Court in Frick v. Frick seems to suggest, it is certainly not to be used as part of one spouse’s campaign to embarrass or impugn the character of the other spouse after-the-fact.

Do you agree with this decision? Do you think marital misconduct, adultery and similar scandal should have a diminished importance in the non-financial aspects of the divorce process? What are your thoughts?

For the full text of the decision, see:

Frick v. Frick, 2016 ONCA 799 (CanLII)

Serra v. Serra, 2009 ONCA 105 (CanLII)

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

Fake Outbursts, and Adultery “Fines”, and “Bloody Minded” Calls for Jail Time – All in a Day’s Work for the Family Court

Fake Outbursts, and Adultery “Fines”, and “Bloody Minded” Calls for Jail Time – All in a Day’s Work for the Family Court

In an otherwise fairly-routine family matter in terms of legal issues, the court was exposed to a full panoply of theatrics and strategic scheming in a recent B.C. case. It’s an interesting little read.

The parents were married for 23 years and were later divorced in Taiwan, and were battling over the custody of their two youngest children. The wife claims spousal and child support, and a share of property interests that the husband in that country, and in B.C. and Saskatchewan as well.

But then the case took a bit of a turn: The husband resisted the wife’s claims, asserting (among other things) that only the Taiwanese courts had jurisdiction to decide some of the issues, and that they had already received a civil divorce in Taiwan, based on the wife’s adultery (which is apparently an offence in that country).

In response to this, the court wrote:

In that regard, neither party produced certified copies of the Taiwanese divorce pleadings or orders, each stating that to be the other’s responsibility. The only evidence of any financial implications of the Taiwanese proceedings is found in the “Criminal Judgment”, dated March 9, 1994, in which [the wife] seems to have been presented with the uneasy choice of serving three months in jail or paying a penalty of $30 per day.

That aside, I have difficulty accepting that an order requiring payment of a “fine” of $5,000 proves that the Taiwanese courts have “taken jurisdiction over the redistribution of assets pursuant to the divorce” (counsel’s words). Aside from the fact that the “fine” was imposed in separate “criminal” proceedings which were based on allegations of adultery, the roughly translated documents from the civil action do not indicate that the Taiwanese courts have dealt with property issues at all.

After thus dispensing with the husband’s jurisdictional objection, the court framed the tenor of the rest of the trial proceedings this way:

Although it is inherently difficult to assess the credibility of witnesses who are being examined and cross-examined through [Mandarin] interpreters, the [husband and wife] created strong impressions. Their pettiness and mutual disrespect seemed limitless, and much of their testimony must be treated as suspect.

In many obviously fake outbursts, marked by wailing and tearless crying, [the wife] demonstrated her considerable guile (of the five or six ways to translate that term, her interpreter might most charitably choose from “artfulness”, “shrewdness”, or “wiliness”). Her disloyalty to [the husband] also led to misuse of his eyeglasses inventory (it went to her brother), for which she later signed a “Statement of Repentence”, at [the husband’s] insistence.

For his part, [the husband’s] attitude was one of utter disdain towards his former wife ([the husband’s] interpreter might well choose “arrogance”, “contempt”, or “indifference”). He clearly believes that [the wife] deserves nothing from their marital estate.

Both parties also engaged in various legal shenanigans: the husband surreptitiously mortgaged their shared homes and transferred about $430,000 to a bank in Taiwan, claiming he owed someone else some money. He was found in contempt for not producing documents, and ordered into 10 days of custody (though that was stayed). He listed both family properties for sale, despite being clearly ordered by the court not to.

Not to be outdone, the wife asked for the husband to be incarcerated even after the trial had concluded – which prompted the husband to flee the country. The court explained:

The prospect of spending ten days in jail prompted [the husband’s] quick flight from Canada (he returned just before the trial began). Although what he said about failure to provide documents was fatuous, the notion of sharing available information may be entirely foreign to [the husband]. However, in spite of his steadfast resistance to the proceedings, now that the trial has ended I consider the renewed call [by the wife] for his incarceration to be somewhat bloody minded. The committal order … is vacated.

The court went on to assume jurisdiction, and to resolve numerous family property, custody and access issues. On the question of dividing the family assets, the court wrote:

Two things were obvious in [the husband’s] testimony.

First, he is so bound up in the fault which provided the grounds for the Taiwanese divorce (and, as well, in [the wife’s] loyalty to her younger brother and his rival spectacles business) that he seems unwilling to acknowledge [the wife’s] contributions to the acquisition of their Taiwanese estate.

Second, the notion that the economic consequences of the [couple’s] divorce have affected [the wife] more than himself seems to be difficult for [the husband] to grasp. Moreover, given [the husband’s] own willingness to look after the children when he brought them to Canada, it also seems hard for him to accept that, after bearing the child-care burden (which, of course, continues) for many years, [the wife] is somehow now economically disadvantaged.

In my view, [the wife] is entitled to an interest in assets which [the husband] acquired here. That interest must, of course, reflect the principles I have just alluded to.

The court added that the husband had spent over $30,000 in legal fees even before the trial began (and observed that yet “he carps about the cost of this litigation”). The wife had apparently spent twice that amount.

These twists-and-turns might make this case a little out of the ordinary – but they are not entirely unheard-of. In any event, the court certainly had its work cut out for it with this couple.

For the full text of the decision, see:

Chou v. Chou, 1996 CanLII 2021 (BC SC)

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

Appeal Court Confirms Unique “Philosophy” of the Ontario Family Law Rules

Appeal Court Confirms Unique “Philosophy” of the Ontario Family Law Rules

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a recent case called Frick v. Frick, confirmed that the Ontario Family Law Rules are philosophically different from their civil counterpart, and reflect the unique nature of litigation involving families.

The initial facts in Frick v. Frick were unremarkable: The couple married in 1993 and had two children. They separated 20 year later, and the wife started divorce proceedings. In addition to custody and spousal/child support, she also asked for the usual equalization of Net Family Property (NFP).

But after filing her pleadings, the wife learned that the husband had spent money on extra-marital activities during the marriage, namely those incurred during what she claimed was a “10-year affair”, as well as the cost of male and female escort services and an adult fetish website membership.

In light of that spending, the wife claimed the husband had recklessly depleted his share of family funds during the marriage. Because of it, she asked for an unequal division of NFP in her favour, now that their relationship was over. She asked the court for permission to amend her claim accordingly.

But the court declined, and went one step further by expressly preventing the wife from asking for an unequal NFP division at trial. The wife appealed.

The Appeal Court ruled in her favour, finding that the motion judge had made several procedural errors. For one thing, he had innovated certain evidentiary requirements for the wife to meet, that were simply not contained anywhere in the Family Law Rules (FLR). He took issue with the wife’s failure to specify in her pleadings the precise FLR provisions on which she relied for unequal division, even though these were implicit. He took procedural liberties by essentially bringing his own motion to strike out the wife’s unequal division claim, and baring her from pursuing it at trial, even though the husband had not requested these remedies himself.

The motion judge had also applied an unjustly-high threshold for establishing the wife’s unequal division claim, and had deprived her of notice that it might be struck out permanently. As the Appeal Court put it:

Here, the wife knew that the motion was to strike portions of her document. She could not have known that her claim for an unequal division would be judged according to the summary judgment rules. Nor could she have known that her claim would be barred forever since she was denied leave to amend.

The key error, however, was the motion judge’s assessment that the FLR governed certain procedural aspects inadequately, and that he should look to the civil procedure rules for guidance instead. (Although Ontario judges are permitted to do this where warranted, the motion judge in this case showed over-reliance on the civil rules, and misunderstood when they could be invoked.).

In this context, the Court of Appeal made some important comments about the fundamental nature of the FLR:

The Family Law Rules were enacted to reflect the fact that litigation in family law matters is different from civil litigation. The family rules provide for active judicial case management, early, complete and ongoing financial disclosure, and an emphasis on resolution, mediation and ways to save time and expense in proportion to the complexity of the issues. They embody a philosophy peculiar to a lawsuit that involves a family.

The Appeal Court allowed the wife’s appeal, in part.

For the full text of the decision, see:

Frick v. Frick, 2016 ONCA 799 (CanLII)

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

Is a Marriage Contract Invalid if Signed During an Affair with Someone Else?

affair

Is a Marriage Contract Invalid if Signed During an Affair with Someone Else?

In this Ontario case dealing with the validity of a marriage contract between a husband and wife, the husband ask the court to strike it down for an unusual reason: At the time his wife signed it, she was cheating on him with another man and was possibly plotting to leave the marriage altogether.

In D’Andrade v. Schrage, a wealthy, twice-divorced 61-year old man married a 34-year old woman. He prepared a marriage contract to sign, in which he promised (among other things) that in the event they separated he would pay her a lump sum of $300,000, and buy her a home worth at least $250,000.

The wife did sign the contract; however unbeknownst to the husband, she was having an affair at the time and had already contacted lawyers to discuss her options and rights in the event that she decided to go through with a separation.

When the husband found out about the affair (from the wife’s sister, incidentally), he immediately left and began divorce proceedings. When the matter eventually came before the court, the man claimed that the agreement obliging him to pay the wife various amounts was invalidated by the wife’s “lack of good faith” in signing it, given that she was thinking of leaving him at the time.

The court considered the effect of this post-facto development on the legal validity of the marriage contract. Here, it was clear that the wife was considering separation, but there was no evidence that she had actually decided to do so. Still, the court struggled with the notion that spouses have a positive duty to disclose private thoughts of this nature:

To require spouses to disclose their thoughts about the likelihood of separation or their involvements in extra-marital sexual activity before signing a marriage contract could have serious implications for the survival of marital relationships. If the obligation to disclose is limited to thoughts of separation, the question becomes how serious those thoughts of separation were. Does there have to be evidence that the decision to separate has been actually made? … If this is not the threshold then what is? Is it any thought of separation or only serious thoughts of separation? If it is the latter, how “serious” is serious enough?

The court also reflected on the broader ramifications of acceding to the husband’s argument that in this context married spouses must disclose affairs or potential plans to separate:

In this case, the public policy implications of requiring married couples to disclose their thoughts of separation or their involvement in extra-marital relationships before executing a marriage contract are negative rather than positive. In recognition of the fact that marriages are complicated institutions, whose failure can rarely be attributed to one party or the other, the law has evolved in a fashion that by and large eliminates conduct from the analysis of financial entitlement. In essence, [the husband] is seeking to reintroduce conduct into the consideration of whether a marriage contract should be set aside. This is a road the law has been down before and, based on that experience, it is a road to be avoided unless justice demands it.

The court also made an important point: marriage contracts are not designed to enforce “personal” obligations (such as the duty to remain faithful or the commitment to stay in the relationship). Rather, they are aimed settling the financial obligations between couples who decide to separate (such as support entitlement and division of assets). By extension, any legal duty to disclose information relates only to matters relevant to the financial purposes of the contract, not the more personal ones.

In the end, the court rejected the husband’s argument as to the relevance of the wife’s affair and her contemplating separation and upheld the agreement, ordering the husband to pay the wife various amounts he had promised under it.

For the full text of the decision, see:

D’Andrade v. Schrage, 2011 ONSC 1174 (CanLII), http://canlii.ca/t/2fxkp

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

Can a “Misbehaving“ Spouse Lose Out on Support?

misbehave

Can a “Misbehaving“ Spouse Lose Out on Support?

In a recent Blog we commented on the decision in Boddington v. Boddington, which was effectively a case study on how not to ask a court for ongoing spousal support from your Ex, in situations where you have moved on to a relationship with a new person.
In reading the case, we were struck by an interesting little comment by the judge – and one that is probably wrong in law. It relates to the question of whether a former spouse’s “misconduct” – in this case an extramarital affair – essentially disentitles him or her to spousal support after-the-fact.

As readers will recall, the Boddington case involved a woman who was asking for ongoing spousal support from her former husband, despite the fact that she was now living with a new man. Even though she had had an affair with the man prior to marriage, she claimed that they were now “just friends” and had no sexual relationship – she was just living with him to help him out financially, she claimed. After rejecting the woman’s dishonest assertions as to the platonic, allegedly non-spousal relationship with the new partner, the court dismissing her claims for spousal support for other reasons.

In doing so, the court made a comment (at para. 11) of the judgment to the effect that the woman’s conduct was relevant to support because it amounted to an obvious and gross “repudiation of the relationship”. The judge’s exact words were these:

Of course, the law is clear that a payee is not disentitled to support merely because she has formed a new relationship. And the conduct of the parties is only relevant if it is so unconscionable as to constitute an obvious and gross repudiation of the relationship. While I would find the [wife’s] conduct in this case sufficient to meet that test, I do not have to go that far.

As it happens – and despites the judge’s hints to the contrary in Boddington – this is not the state of Family Law in Ontario.

In fact, courts will generally not characterize adulterous affairs, lying and similar dishonesty as an “obvious and gross repudiation of the relationship” to the point that a spouse becomes disentitled to support on that basis alone. Rather, spousal support entitlement generally arises as a consequence of the marriage and its breakdown, and (as I have discussed in many prior Blogs is calculated based on numerous factors, but misconduct is not one of them. In other words, an otherwise-deserving spouse does not become “disentitled” to financial support merely because they may have behaved immorally or unethically during the marriage.

For the full text of the decision, see:

Boddington v. Boddington, 2003 CarswellOnt 3914, [2003] O.J. No. 4008 (S.C.J.)

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at www.RussellAlexander.com