My spouse/partner is having an affair. What are my rights? What do I do?

A spouse can separate for any reason. Even though the separation might be caused by that person’s own actions, such as having an affair, there is no punishment meted out or penalty that has to be paid for separating.

If an affair occurs, it is unlikely to have an impact on the determination of the outstanding issues. The spouse that had an affair is still allowed in the family home.

However, in very rare and unique situations, the affair can be used to directly show an inability to care for the children, or show there was a reckless and substantial depletion of family assets. In those situations, it may be possible to obtain a custody arrangement that is favourable to you, or to receive a payment in compensation for the assets that were depleted.

If you are separated or are thinking of separating, you will need to resolve any outstanding issues, such as custody and access (if there are children involved), child support and spousal support (also known as alimony), and/or dividing and equalizing property. It is recommended that you seek legal advice before signing or agreeing to anything.