Do I Have To Pay Alimony If My Wife Cheated?

June 7, 2021

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There is nothing worse in life than a cheating wife, and we can understand the rollercoaster of emotions, which includes sadness, frustration, and extreme anger. But, it’s life. You’ve to accept it and move on with life, as you have so much to gain and nothing to lose. There are probably several questions floating in your mind, the top of which is, do I need spousal support for my cheating wife, if I file the divorce in Canada?

First things first, infidelity in marriage doesn’t change the entitlement of your wife to spousal support in Canada. Further, nor will this have any impact on how much support your cheating wife will receive. So, the answer to your query “Does Cheating Affect Alimony” is a big No. However, a family court judge reviews each case carefully. They evaluate several factors & circumstances to determine spousal support in Canada. They have the right to make exceptions to their judgments. 

So, there isn’t any thumb rule, but the judge may look into the below key factors:-

  • Age of each partner.
  • Assets of both the spouses. 
  • Income of both the spouses.
  • The health of both individuals.
  • Standards of living.
  • Ability to find employment or self-sufficiency.
  • Contribution to each other’s education.

The length of your marriage is a big factor that most judges look at. Again, cheating isn’t a factor when it comes to spousal support. Yes, it could lead to a breakdown of our marriage, but it has no role to play in the divorce process. That’s the harsh reality. 

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Key Things to Consider When You File a Divorce Case Based on Adultery 

  • The court will require to explain exactly what happened with proof. So, you can’t simply say you saw her kissing someone by the lakeside; you need pictures. 
  • Mere suspicion is not enough to support your claim.
  • A single act of adultery is enough to ask for a divorce in court.
  • There is no role in how long the affair has been.
  • The adultery act must have happened before submitting the divorce application.
  •  The label adultery is given only when there is a physical, sexual relationship between your spouse and any other individual.
  • The person involved in adultery with your spouse doesn’t have to be named. 

Impact of Adultery on Child Custody

A wife’s infidelity has no impact on child custody unless you prove she isn’t the right influence on your kid. You have to prove that your wife’s conduct is not good to take care of your court. However, this is not as easy as it may seem; you come with something that supports your big claims. In a nutshell, a history of violence can affect child custody, not adultery. 

If you have discovered that your wife is cheating on you, and you want to file a divorce, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice before you proceed. Any decision taken without thinking could be costly, so have patience.  

Fault Divorce

If you are filing a divorce in court based on adultery, it means you are filing for Fault Divorce. It says that you are trying to prove that your partner is responsible for the breakdown of your marriage. However, you must prepare well for a fault divorce as the judge will require proof of what happened to substantiate your claim. For such a case, you need a legal representation to assist you with every step to avoid costly blunders in the courtroom. 

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One thing you need to know is that filing a fault divorce case is often not advised as it is lengthy, difficult, and costly. Sometimes, it takes a year or so for the judge to give a judgment on the adultery case. 

In Canada, the most common ground for submitting a divorce application is based on the one-year separation between you two. It is a no-fault divorce and the easiest way to get a divorce. For a divorce under adultery, your cheating partner needs to sign an affidavit agreeing to it. Further, the affidavit will be a part of the public domain. So, do your wife agree on this, probably not. Therefore, filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery is more complex than it may seem. Regardless of, you file for fault or no-fault divorce, there is no impact on spousal support and child custody. Also, your partner doesn’t have to pay the extra money just because they committed adultery. 

FAQ On Adultery

Q. Does the length of the extramarital affair have any say?

No, the length of the affair doesn’t matter. Only the act of adultery has to be proven by the victim party in the court against their spouse. However, you need to know the adultery act must have taken place before you file the petition in court. 

Q. What if the adultery happened only once?

Even a single act of adultery is enough to get a divorce in Canada. Now, forgiveness and reconciliation is the person’s decision that depends upon you and your relationship. 

Q. What is the clear proof of a spouse’s adultery?

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Photos and videos caught in the act are the best way to prove adultery. Don’t think the judge will agree to suspicion or want you to listen or see, the court wants proof. There is no requirement that the person involved with your wife has to be identified. 

Q. What if my wife has an affair with another woman?

Yes, Canada’s Divorce Act defined adultery on the same grounds, regardless of gender. Whether your partner is involved in a physical act with an individual of the opposite gender or same gender, it doesn’t matter. 
Finally, if you have doubts or queries regarding “do I have to pay alimony if my wife cheated,” you must consult a qualified and experienced attorney. They’ll best guide you by thoroughly studying your case, how to go about your case in court. Their advice can save you from paying thousands of dollars as spousal support. But, make sure the lawyer you trust is well-versed with such complicated cases.