Realizing that you have been betrayed by your spouse is devastating. Understandably, many people are unable to move past an extramarital affair and choose to seek divorce.
As you start to work through your divorce, however, you may be wondering whether the reason for your split - the extramarital affair - will have any impact on your child custody.
Adultery and child custody
To put it simply, in the eyes of Alabama courts, cheating on its own is not a good enough reason to limit a parent's access to their children. In most situations, the courts believe that it is in the best interests of the children to continue spending time with both parents after the divorce.
However, if your spouse's parenting abilities were affected by his or her affair, it could affect your final custody order. Examples of this might be:
- Leaving the children home alone, putting their safety at risk, to pursue the affair
- Disregarding the basic needs of the children because of the affair
- Living with the significant other to the point that it disrupts the children's home life
When courts determine child custody, they consider a number of factors, including the child's existing relationships with each parent as well as each parent's ability to provide a safe and stable home life for their child. If your spouse's cheating somehow affected their ability to parent, it may play a role in the final custody order.
How a lawyer can help
Having an attorney on your side when dealing with cheating and child custody can help you gain a better understanding of what to expect from the final outcome. If there is evidence that your spouse shirked his or her parental duties in favor of pursuing the affair, your lawyer can help you collect it and present it to the court.