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Child Custody | Family

Does Adultery Affect Child Custody?

5 min read
Flora Tan

by Flora Tan

In family law, adultery between parents can be a factor when determining the best custody arrangement for children. Adultery can reflect poorly on a parent’s character and decision-making abilities. In cases of adultery, courts may consider the amount of involvement an adulterous parent had with the other person and how it affects the child’s welfare and other aspects of their life.

Child Custody Determination

Child custody is a critical aspect of the divorce process, especially when the parents cannot agree on the terms.

The court determines child custody based on several factors, including:

  • The child’s best interests
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Any history of abuse or neglect

It is not the court’s job to judge which parent is more deserving of custody but rather to determine what arrangement will best serve the interests and needs of all parties.

If one spouse has committed adultery, the judge may consider that when determining how to allocate parental responsibilities and parenting time.

If the other parent ignores custodial arrangements, it can be a source of pain and confusion for both the children and the parents involved. In instances of infidelity, parents may have poor judgment, which can affect the children.

An attorney conversant with family law can help a parent navigate the child custody process

The Impact Of Adultery On Child Custody Arrangements

Infidelity will not necessarily affect custody decisions; however, it can impact the moral character of a parent, which may be considered in the court’s decision. The other parent’s behavior can also be considered, as it may influence the home environment and affect a child’s well-being.

In some states, adultery can be considered a factor when determining child support and visitation rights or deciding who receives primary physical custody of the children.

Impact of An Extramarital Relationship On Marital Property Division

An extramarital affair or relationship can significantly impact a spouse’s ability to receive alimony or property division.

If one spouse spent marital assets on the extramarital relationship, the other spouse might argue for a more significant share of the property.

In The Child Custody Case, Certain Factors May Prompt The Consideration Of Adultery

Some factors may prompt the court to consider adultery in child custody cases, including the following:

  • Length of the affair: If the illicit affair has been ongoing for some time, it may be seen as a sign of a continuous and serious relationship, which could influence a court’s decision.
  • Concealment of the affair: If the offending spouse has gone to great lengths to conceal their relationship, this could be seen as evidence of a serious and continued breach of marital trust.
  • Emotional or financial support: If the unfaithful spouse has been receiving emotional or financial support from their paramour, this could be seen as evidence of a continuing relationship.
  • Witnesses: If there are witnesses to the affair or the adulterous spouse has made statements regarding the relationship, this could be seen as decisive evidence in favor of a finding of adultery.
  • Neglecting parental duties: If the cheating spouse has neglected their parental duties due to their involvement in the affair, this could be seen as evidence of an ongoing relationship. Besides, a new partner in a child’s life can be challenging.

Divorce And Child Custody

When a married couple decides to divorce, many issues arise, including:

  • Property division
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Child custody

If one spouse committed adultery during the marriage, it could negatively affect the divorce case and the outcome of child custody.

In cases of irreconcilable differences between the parents, the court will focus on the minor’s best interest.

Can Adultery Affect Child Custody?

If you want to know if adultery can affect child custody, an experienced family law attorney has answered some common questions that can help you understand your legal rights.

How Can Adultery Affect Child Custody?

In the scenario where your spouse cheated on you and is seeking joint child custody, it is essential to remember that the judge will consider all aspects of the situation.

Adultery can impact child custody decisions. When making any decision regarding the welfare and future of a child, a family court judge must consider what is in the child’s best interest. Adultery can affect a judge’s perception of a parent’s parental suitability and can be used as evidence in determining custody.

What Entitlements Do You Have If Your Husband Engages In Adultery?

If your husband engages in adultery and you are engaged in a custody dispute with them, you may be entitled to certain rights under family law. Depending on the jurisdiction, these rights could include:

• Seeking temporary or permanent custody of any children involved in the custody dispute;

• Obtaining a restraining order to prevent your husband from contact with you or the children;

• Seeking spousal support if adultery is found to be a factor in the dissolution of your marriage;

• Seeking child support payments from your husband; and

• Seeking legal fees incurred due to the adultery.

What Factors Determine A Minor’s “Best Interests” In A Custody Case?

When deciding on child custody, the court is legally obligated to consider the “best interests” of the child. This means that the court must evaluate all of the factors in a case to determine what custodial arrangement will serve the child’s best interests. When deciding, the court must consider the following:

  • The child’s Physical
  • Emotional
  • Mental and
  • Moral well-being

Does Adultery Affect Divorce Settlement?

Dividing marital property is one of the most significant areas of contention when a couple divorces. Adultery can significantly impact divorce proceedings, especially if proven in court. Spouses that commit adultery may be punished through the property division or the awarding of alimony.

Hire An Unbundled Family Law attorney To Resolve Your Child Custody Battle

Going through a contentious child custody case is never easy, especially when adultery allegations are involved.

An unbundled child custody attorney understands the complexities of child custody cases and knows how to navigate the legal waters to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Unbundled legal services offered by an unbundled attorney can cost between $500 and $1500, significantly less than the $5000 or higher fee a regular lawyer charges.

Unbundled legal services may not be appropriate for all cases, but they can be helpful when you only need an attorney’s assistance for a specific part of your case.

Contact a child custody attorney to learn how adultery affects a custody case

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