Clients often ask us how infidelity might impact their divorce proceedings, may it be their own or their spouse’s infidelity.
In the big scheme of things, the short answer is: it won’t. Unlike what we see in American Courts and TV shows, prenuptial agreements and adultery clauses do not exist in Quebec. They would not be legally binding and do not hold up in court. This means that spouses who have committed adultery will not bear a greater financial burden towards their wronged spouse as a consequence of their infidelity. Courts will not award greater financial compensation to a wronged spouse, neither in the form of increased spousal support nor in the form of a lump sum.
That said, a party who has felt deeply wronged by his or her spouse’s adultery may be less open to negotiations and to an amicable solution to their divorce. Understandably, emotions, conflict, and the history of the relationship will have an effect on the parties’ disposition to resolve their differences harmoniously.
That said, and no matter how difficult it may be, our divorce lawyers always encourage our clients to put past differences aside in order to find mutually amenable terms, especially when their children’s best interests are at stake. While it may be tempting to give in to overwhelming emotions and resentment, your family, your mental health, and your wallet will all benefit from your ability to collaborate and engage in respectful negotiations.
The only consequence it has is that in the event that you reach an agreement, you will not have to wait the one year to have your divorce granted. That being said the win is that you can at least have the opportunity to turn the page faster and more on with the next chapter of your life