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How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Canada?

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Adultery – the term indeed is a harsh thing for all the spouses out there. In fact, it is the filthiest thing one person can commit, especially even after having a spouse. It’s like breaking their trust and playing with their emotions. What’s more heartbreaking is the ratio of adultery is also increasing with every year instead of declining a bit.

And if your marriage has ended due to an extramarital affair, then the question that will at first strike at your mind is, “How does adultery affect divorce in Canada?”

Of course, it has an effect but to what extent will certainly vary from case to case. Besides, Canadian law is also very strict regarding this and thus has kept it as one of the solid grounds for divorce. So whenever one person faces this, it can help them get out of that relationship as soon as possible.

How Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Canada?

Many people tend to believe that adultery or cheating significantly affects the divorce settlement amount. And as injustice is done to them, so as a victim, they deserve a reasonable financial settlement.

However, this is one of the misconceptions that people have. It definitely affects, but instead of directly having an impact on the settlement, it makes your divorce ground stronger, ultimately increasing the chances of your winning rate.

Let’s see how this thing can affect your divorce:

Acts as a strong ground to get a divorce

You can use this as a solid ground to fasten your divorce process. In fact, upon showing this ground to the court, it takes much less time compared to the other grounds. But, this doesn’t mean that just by showing adultery as a ground, you can get your divorce done.

Instead, you have to prove it to the court that it has happened and when you encountered this fact, you didn’t support it in any way. Such as, if you knew about this for a long time but let it pass away rather than taking action, then you will not be able to use it as a ground anymore.

Spousal support

Adultery tends to affect the spousal maintenance but not always. Instead, it mostly depends on the case of whether your spouse is currently living with that other person or not.

For instance, if your spouse moved in with their new one, then they can use this ground to deny the spousal support payment. As based on the logic, they are either receiving or supporting that person.

Property division

Although it may seem a bit unfair, but adultery doesn’t have much of an impact on the property division. In fact, as per the rules, you are entitled to getting 50% of the marital property, regardless of all the other things.

For instance, if your spouse is residing with their new lover, then you can use this activity to make your bargaining position much stronger. Still, it will be very close to a 50/50 property division result.

Some Important Considerations While Filing for Divorce

There are a few key points that you must know while going ahead with the divorce based on the adultery ground. So make sure to know about them:

  • Must have a proof or evidence that what you are stating is true
  • Mere doubts will not be enough to prove your claim
  • Committing adultery is strong enough as a ground to bring into a divorce action
  • Affair duration is not an issue; the matter it has occurred is indeed a big deal!
  • Adultery took place before the divorce appeal
  • For qualifying as an adultery, there must be proof of actual sexual intercourse between one of the spouses and another person (who is not their spouse)

Does Adultery Need Solid Evidence or Suspicion Enough to Carry on with the Case?

Well, in order to prove the occurrence of adultery, you must have a solid ground to prove these. Such as, if you have pictures or other evidence in hand, then it will be enough to prove it. Otherwise, just with a mere doubt, it will not be enough.

Now the question is, what to do if you don’t have any evidence?

Well, the good news is it is not mandatory that the other spouse has to be directly caught in the act and have pictures or any other physical evidence to prove it.

Instead, with all the civil occurrences, if you can prove it to the court that adultery has happened in this case based on a “preponderance” of credible proof, then it will be enough.

For instance, it can happen by inference – referring to the fact and circumstances which have led on to the reasonable conclusion that adultery has indeed occurred.

To Conclude

That’s all regarding the discussion on “how does adultery affect divorce in Canada?”

It is indeed a great unfortunate thing if one spouse chooses to cheat despite having a loving person at home. Well, remember it is their fault, not yours! So, instead of blaming on yourself, use it as a solid ground to make your divorce case stronger and fasten the entire process.

Hence, to get a desired outcome, make sure to take the help of an experienced lawyer. As right from doing all sorts of paperwork to dealing with the court – they can guide you in every step and thus relieve your stress at one of the most challenging times.


Have a look at the most asked questions regarding adultery in Canada in case you have anything in your mind to clarify:

Does adultery matter in divorce in Canada?

Of course, it matters. In fact, adultery is considered as one of the solid grounds in Canada for appealing divorce in court. However, the spouse who committed adultery cannot apply for divorce based on his/her own adultery. Only the other spouse who is a victim can appeal for it.

What happens if you can prove adultery?

If you can prove that your partner is having an extramarital affair, then the chances of your winning rate get increased. In other words, you will get the divorce terms as you desire to get. Such as a greater portion on the marital properties, sole child custody and many more things to go.

Does it matter for how long the affair is going on?

No, it just doesn’t matter. What matters is that adultery has occurred, despite the person being legally married to someone else. Whether it is for 1 day or for several years, it will fall under adultery. And based on this, one spouse can apply in the court to get a divorce.

Is there any time limit within which I need to file for divorce after discovering adultery?

Yes, there is. And you must appeal for one within max 6 months of the disclosure. In fact, the sooner, the better. After all, it is their fault, not yours. However, one crucial thing to note, your partner must have sexual intercourse with the opposite sex to effectively fall under adultery.

What about cheating over the internet?

Adultery means having an actual physical relationship between a married person and another individual (not legally married). So, having phone sex or any other form of sexual activity over the internet doesn’t qualify as adultery by law.