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Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson have separated after two years of marriage. Sources claim that the parties' long distance relationship took its toll on the marriage. Recently, Ryan's work commitments to the new movie, "Green Lantern" kept the parties apart for quite some time.Although sources claim that the parties are being civil about the separation, there are speculations that Ryan had been turning to third parties such as his ex-girlfriend, Alanis Morisette for comfort. Sources also allege that Ryan cheated on Scarlett with Blake Lively of the hit TV show 'Gossip Girl'. The parties have no children together.

The impact of adultery when parties wish to divorce in Ontario...

Pursuant to the Divorce Act (the Act), a court may on application by either spouse, grant a divorce to the spouses on the ground that there has been a breakdown of their marriage. A breakdown of a marriage is established only if:

  1. the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year immediately preceding the determination of the divorce proceeding and were living separate and apart at the commencement of the proceeding; or
  2. the spouse against whom the divorce proceeding is brought has since the celebration of the marriage;
    1. committed adultery or;
    2. treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses.

In Ontario, the court will not grant Scarlett with her divorce until December 2011 as the one year waiting period will not pass until that time. Scarlett can however deal with all the other issues, known as the corollary issues in her matter such as property division, or support (if claimed) before said date. She can make the claim for a divorce in the Application along with the other issues, however she will not be able to obtain her divorce until one year has passed.

However, if the allegations that Ryan committed adultery on Scarlett with other women are true, then she may bring the Application under part i) of the Act. If Scarlett makes the adultery claim, the divorce will take effect immediately. The evidentiary burden to prove that Ryan actually cheated on Scarlett will be high. Furthermore, the amount of time it will take to prove this claim may take longer then simply demonstrating to the Court that the parties have been separated for one full year. If hypothetically Scarlett made the Application claiming adultery she would not be required to name the other party, here being either Alanis Morisette or Blake Lively or a third party we are unaware of. However, Scarlett does have the option of making that person a party to the proceeding.

It should be noted however that sources claim the parties are quite amicable towards one another. They want to be civil about the separation. The parties jointly stated "After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we've decided to end our marriage. We entered our relationship with love and it's with love and kindness we leave it. While privacy isn't expected, it's certainly appreciated."

Based on the above, we cannot with certainty say whether the separation is a result of infidelity; it is Hollywood after all, where rumors run rampant.