How Will Adultery Impact A Custody Case?

Posted on: 5 April 2016

When dealing with a divorce, filing for custody can be a difficult and complicated task. Things grow even more complex when adultery becomes a factor. Although infidelity does not always impact much within the actual divorce proceedings, it does influence how a judge may rule when deciding who will receive custody of a child.

What Exactly Does Adultery Effect?

For the most part, how faithful a partner is towards the other partner doesn't really matter as long as the parent cares for the child. The court tends to ignore such a personal matter, unless it directly impacts the well-being of the child.

For example, the adultery could impact custody if the adulterous spouse were to expose their child or children to the non-spouse without their spouse's knowledge. Divorce is always difficult, but since the child has had a connection with the non-spouse, it becomes increasingly difficult.

You should always check with your spouse before introducing a new person into your child's life. If you do not, your actions—whether you are separated or filing for divorce—could be construed as adulterous and be seen as potentially harmful to the child. This will not reflect well on your personal character and will impact your likelihood of winning custody.

The Deeper Impact of Adultery

For the most part, adultery doesn't affect anything legally, unless it harms the child mentally, emotionally, or physically. It does, however, impact the relationship within the family, which could affect the divorce and impact a custody case. For example, if your child is able to choose who they wish live with, bringing adultery into the situation could cause them to become confused and choose one parent out of pity or guilt.

If the child is a teenager, the judge is more likely to listen to their plea regarding who they desire to live with. Their opinion of their parents will then be given even greater weight. Adding adultery to this situation often makes the teen more likely to pick the victim of the marriage over the adulterer. The actions of the adulterer could sway them away from choosing a life and home that is ultimately better for them in the long run, while also fueling an emotionally driven decision.

Adultery may have little legal impact on a custody case. It can, however, strongly impact actions. At the end of the day, the best course of action is to remove the emotions caused by the infidelity and focus solely on what is the in the best interest of the child.

For help with your custody case, contact a lawyer like J. Scott Braden.