Do lie detector test results hold up in court?
I caught my spouse cheating on me a while ago and I have a very strong hunch that there was more than one time/person than they are admitting. I want her to take a lie detector test because it's really killing our relationship with me having to wonder if it's happened with more than one person. What I'm wOndering is if I get in writing that if she fails any part of the test she will give up full custody of our son, will this hold up in court?
Posted over 4 years ago
I am a presiding Ontario family court judge, author of Tug of War & host of Family Matters with Justice Harvey Brownstone.
Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation).
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Child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child (or, at least, those have "paramount consideration" under the Family Relations Act), not on a piece of paper, though if someone wrote that they thought you were the better parent, that might at least serve as evidence of what they thought at the time (assuming there was no duress or undue influence), bearing in mind that ultimately, if you start an action, it is up to the court to determine what is in the child's best interests, not the spouses, though if both spouses agreed this would likely be accorded great weight and remove the need for child custody proceedings.
Spousal misconduct is not relevant unless it ties in to the other party's fitness as a parent. To clarify, infedility is irrelevant to most issues in family law in B.C. If one spouse has committed adultery without condonation from the other partner, then they need no longer wait the 1 year mark before getting divorced. There is also a case (Leskun v. Leskun) which suggests that the economic impact of the emotional consequences of infedility (person is devastated, obsessed, and unable to return to the workforce) may play a role when it comes to assessing a spousal support obligation. Generally speaking, however, your case is likely to take more than a year anyway if you commence proceedings and the issues cannot be resolved by agreement, so the "queue-jumping" benefit is of little assistance, so unless you fall under the Leskun category, you may not want to devote much time to this issue, as bringing it up a number of times in the course of your proceedings may convey the impression that you are bitter, angry, and unlikely to facilitate contact between the child and the other spouse which is one thing that courts generally take into consideration when deciding on issues of custody.
If you think that you relationship with your spouse is at an end, you should consult with a lawyer as to what steps to take next before you do anything (such as tell your spouse, move out of the house, or file for divorce) as well as some opinions regarding custody, spousal and child support.
Posted over 4 years ago
Ari Wormeli, Maclean Family Law Group
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Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Ari Wormeli, search the Lawyer Directory, or use the free Lawyer Referral Service.