Back decades ago, infidelity could definitely have impacted who ended up with the marital assets, who receive alimony or who got custody of the kids in a divorce. When it comes to how it impacts child custody matters nowadays, though, a parent’s cheating doesn’t have the same direct effect on a judge’s decision-making that it may have had before.
The truth of the matter is that a parent’s infidelity doesn’t usually impact whether or not he or she is deemed to be a fit parent. The only way it typically would have such an impact is if it could be proven that the cheating parent openly engaged in the infidelity right in front of the child.
If a parent’s involvement in an extramarital relationship put a child in a situation where he or she was around unsavory people, then this may make a judge think twice about a person’s fitness to parent.
A parent’s infidelity can also have an indirect impact on custody arrangements if a judge fears that a child spending time with the parent is going to expose him or her to a revolving door of romantic partners. If the cheating spouse’s partner engages in undesirable behaviors and is going to be in close contact with the child, then this also may impact custody arrangements.
In potentially toxic situations such as the aforementioned, it’s possible for parents to allow their attorneys to broker a legal agreement between the two of them regarding who and what the child may be exposed to.
As part of these agreements, parents may mutually agree not to introduce their kids to anyone that they’re in a relationship with. They may instead require each other to take certain measures before doing so. Each may agree to have a therapist help broach the topic with the child first or to only introduce someone after the parent has been dating him or her for a certain period of time.
If you’re concerned about how your infidelity will impact your ability to spend time with your kids, then a Fort Myers attorney can provide guidance in your case.
Source: Romper, “Does cheating affect child custody arrangements? Here’s when infidelity is taken into consideration,” Jacqueline Burt Cote, accessed June 07, 2018