Adultery still grounds for divorce in British Columbia

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Divorce on July 26, 2017.

The modern world has become more liberal in its views in general and that includes views regarding marriage. Yet even in the 21st century, adultery is still grounds for getting a divorce in British Columbia, and indeed in all of Canada. It is on the list, along with intolerable mental or physical cruelty and separation.

Canada’s Divorce Act is executed equally in all provinces and territories. The Act speaks to issues surrounding divorce, including various support and custody matters. A petition for divorce can only be dealt with by the superior court of each province.

Mere suspicion is not enough to prove adultery, yet a single infidelity is enough to use adultery as grounds for divorce. The adultery had to have occurred prior to launching the divorce application. There must have been an actual physical sexual relationship between one of the spouses and another individual.

Couples choosing to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty are filing what is referred to as a “For Fault Divorce.” In other words, one spouse is trying to prove the other is solely responsible for the marriage breaking down. The court system is already backlogged and a “For Fault Divorce” could take a year or more to be processed. So, a couple could have successfully completed a one-year separation (for a no-fault divorce) in less time.

When thinking about divorce, it is best to talk to a British Columbia divorce lawyer experienced in family law. Each divorce is as unique as the couple going through it. A skilled, compassionate lawyer who understands this difficult situation can help parties move forward in the most positive way possible.

Source:, “Adultery or Cruelty – For Fault Divorce“, Accessed on July 17, 2017

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