If there is infidelity in a marriage, can this be considered “family violence” under the Divorce Act? The answer is YES.
In a recent case by the name of McBennett v. Danis, the wife and husband, through their respective family lawyers, filed for divorce. They have one child together. The lengthy trial outlined the high level of abusive behavior by the husband and its gross impact on the wife. The abusive behavior started early on in the relationship and was constant throughout. The judge found that the husband’s numerous infidelities during their relationship and his demeanor and conduct towards his wife constituted “family violence”. The judge also stated that this pattern of coercive and controlling behavior was psychologically abusive and that the infidelities often amounted to harassment.
Then the judge had to decide the impact of this family violence on the best interests of the child. The court had taken into account that the husband took counselling services and had made significant improvements. As a result, the court ruled that it is in the best interests of the child to have decision making responsibility (“custody” as it was previously known) allocated to both parents and they were also granted equal parenting time (“access” as it was previously known) with the child.
Keep in mind that cheating may not always be considered “family violence”.
Every case is different so make sure you get the advice of a family lawyer in Toronto.
Contact Melekhovets Law to work with one of the best divorce lawyers in Toronto.