Does Adultery Count for Child Custody?

The end of a marriage is always difficult for everyone involved.  This is true regardless of the reason for the demise of the relationship.  Even in the most amicable of divorces, splitting up can be painful.  When the reason for divorce is that your spouse has been unfaithful, the divorce can be even more difficult emotionally.  If you share children with your spouse, you may be wondering if your spouse’s adultery will impact your child custody case.

In New Jersey, the court will make a decision for child custody and parenting time based on certain statutory factors.  Noticeably absent from the list is whether your spouse was a good spouse or was faithful.  In other words, your spouse’s infidelity standing alone will not mean that the court will deny him or her custody or parenting time.  The court is interested in what is best for the child – the court focuses on issues like the bond between the parent and the child, the parent’s willingness to foster the relationship between the other parent and the child, and who has historically been the child’s primary caretaker, just to name a few.  The court is not particularly interested in whether the spouses were always the best spouses to each other.

Like many other areas of law, there are important exceptions.  One of the most notable is if the new paramour for your soon to be former spouse is totally unsuitable to be around your child.  This would include issues such as felony convictions, domestic violence, or drug abuse.  If you can prove that the new paramour qualifies as unsuitable or even dangerous and that your soon to be former spouse intends to bring that person around your children, that will quite possibly impact the court’s custody decision.  The primary goal of the court is to ensure the children are safe and stable.  If one parent has plans to expose the child to a dangerous individual, the court will consider that issue.  It is important to note, however, that if that is the case, the focus is still not on the fact that the spouse committed adultery.

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If you are facing a custody case, contact us today.  We have extensive experience helping our clients meet their custody and parenting time goals.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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