Anthony Weiner: Picture Perfect Grounds for Divorce?

As everyone is no doubt aware, Anthony Weiner has been thrust into the media spotlight due to sending some less then proper photos and having some rather sexual conversations online. As the dust starts to settles on Anthony Weiner and his various online indiscretions, the question everyone wants to ask is whether Huma Abedin will divorce Anthony or not.

If this was to take place in Ontario, and if Huma wanted a divorce, she would have to apply for one under the Divorce Act. In order to get a divorce in Ontario, she would have to establish a breakdown of the marriage according to section 8:

8.(1) A court of competent jurisdiction may, on application by either or both spouses, grant a divorce to the spouse or spouses on the ground that there has been a breakdown of their marriage.

Breakdown of marriage

(2) Breakdown of a marriage is established only if

(a) 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

(b) the spouse against whom the divorce proceeding is brought has, since celebration of the marriage,

(i) committed adultery, or

(ii) treated the other spouse with physical or mental cruelty of such a kind as to render intolerable the continued cohabitation of the spouses.

The most interesting question is whether or not Huma could make out a claim for adultery based on Anthony's online activities. In the case of P. (S.E.) v. P (D.D.) defined adultery as intimate sexual activity outside of marriage, regardless of the specific nature of the sexual act performed. It's doubtful that a court would consider the online dalliances to fall under that definition. A claim for divorce based on the other spouse's adulterous behaviour is granted immediately. On the other hand, if Huma chose to divorce Anthony in Ontario without putting forward a claim for adultery; it would likely have to be based on one year's separation. The couple would have to live separate and apart for one year for a court in Ontario to grant them a divorce. Regardless of what the couple do, we wish Huma and Anthony all of the best, and we can't wait to see the baby pictures.

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