In Ontario, there are no additional compensation considerations for proving infidelity or “heartbreak”, so does it really matter if your spouse cheated?
If you look at this issue from a financial point-of-view, the answer appears to be no.
However, as a living, breathing, emotional human being, sometimes knowing the truth can outweigh any financial value.
- Article Continued Below -
Toronto’s Experts in Family Law
Why are some people so driven to find the truth?
There are countless psychological reasons why people want to know the truth. Often a partner wants to try and conclusively verify what happened over a number of years in order to make sense of the behaviour and / or absolve one’s self of any wrong doing or feelings of guilt. In other cases, the partner just wants that evidence to show their ex that they did not get away with cheating.
I will share with you a couple scenarios that we’ve seen and let you decide for yourself if the proof justifies the pursuit. Truly, there is no right decision, it comes down to a personal choice.
The multi-million dollar surveillance case
I was once assigned to conduct surveillance on a wealthy woman. The husband suspected that she was cheating. The couple remained married throughout the investigation, which lasted nearly two years!
During this time, surveillance of varying types was carried out by multiple skilled investigators and the client (the woman’s husband) directly. GPS trackers, audio recorders, video surveillance, mobile surveillance, and even random telephone check-ins with neighbours were implemented by various parties.
The majority of these devices were very new to the market at the time of this surveillance operation, and they were priced at a tremendous cost. Eventually, the client chose to expand the surveillance operation to include a male that the client had suspected his wife had been intimate with, and many of the same resources were implemented both in the area of the male’s residence and workplace.
After almost two years, the client’s wife and the male suspect were never observed together. There were a few occasions where they did attend the same coffee shop, but they never spoke to, or made contact with each other.
When the divorce was finalized, there was no compensation consideration for the husband’s heartbreak, and worse than that, the husband would not accept the overwhelming evidence that indicated that no infidelity had occurred.
A fairly common concern for spouses is what happens when their partner is away on business. In some situations, a person will see these trips as an opportunity to explore their sexuality or encounter other partners, without their spouse finding out.
Take for example an older male engineer that was observed arriving at his destination and working a 12 to 14-hour day. After quitting time, he attended the gay section of the town and engaged in sexual affairs with other males. In this case, a divorce was already in progress and the revelation of infidelity did not factor in to the amount of compensation granted; however, knowing the truth was considered very important for the client who launched the investigation.
If you are unsure as to whether you should seek to prove your spouse cheated, here are a few questions to consider that might help you decide:
- Do you really want to know the answer to your question?
- Can you accept the answer found (even if it doesn’t match what you thought was happening)?
- If you do not find the answer you are looking for, will you be able to stop looking?
- Can you afford to have the work done (sometimes it can take multiple surveillance attempts to find the answer)?
- Can surveillance (or another type of investigation) help your case in any way or is it strictly for your peace of mind?
- If you don’t conduct the investigation, will you be able to move beyond the moment you are in, or do you feel that you will always be wondering what the truth was?