The data breach at Ashley Madison has caused a great deal of concern. Pursuant to B.C. law however whether or not a spouse has committed adultery is not a relevant consideration for the court when determining parenting arrangements or the division of family property.


It is relevant pursuant to the Divorce Act if one spouse wishes to pursue a divorce they can do so without having been separated for one year if they can prove the other spouse has committed adultery.


The only other time that adultery may be a relevant consideration is pursuant to the Family Law Act of British Columbia section 166 which states:


Misconduct of spouse


166  In making an order respecting spousal support, the court must not consider any misconduct of a spouse, except conduct that arbitrarily or unreasonably


(a) causes, prolongs or aggravates the need for spousal support, or

(b) affects the ability to provide spousal support.


In a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada Leskun v. Leskun [2006] S.C.J. No. 25 the wife claimed that she was so traumatized by her husband’s adultery that she was unable to function and return to her normal life. The husband’s adultery was found to be relevant to her inability to work and achieve economic self-sufficiency.


Deborah A. Todd
Deborah A. Todd