Affairs, Adultery & Spying FAQs

My spouse committed adultery. Does this make it easier to get a divorce?

In Canada, divorce is no longer “fault” based. This means that neither party needs to have done something wrong for the court to grant you a divorce. The Divorce Act states that if you and your spouse has lived separate and apart for at least one year, or the spouse with whom the divorce proceeding is brought has committed adultery or treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty, a breakdown in marriage has occurred. So, under this Act, you can divorce your spouse if they have committed adultery.

However, under the Act, you can also divorce your spouse simply by living apart for one year. Claiming adultery has no benefit other than avoiding the one-year waiting period. Additionally, if you wish to claim adultery, you will have to show evidence to the court. This may be much more difficult to prove than simply being separated for one year. It could also cause more conflict in your divorce, and may result in more court time and more expenses.

Stay in Touch

Keep learning about the latest issues in Ontario family law! Subscribe to our newsletter, have our latest articles delivered to your inbox, or listen to our Podcast Family Law Now.

Be sure to find out more about the "new normal", by visiting our Covid-19 and Divorce Information Centre.

About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, 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. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.