Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
Let Us Help You. Call Today. 805-232-5808
Let Us Help You. Call Today. 805-232-5808

Will my child custody decision be affected by infidelity?

Most divorces are not pleasant. They involve breaking up with the partner to whom you thought you would be married for the rest of your life. At best, divorces can be amicable; at worst, extremely contentious. Divorce becomes even more complicated when it also involves a child custody battle and accusations of infidelity.

You have probably been thinking about the effect that infidelity had on your marriage. You have also no doubt been thinking about your child’s future custody arrangement. And you have probably been wondering whether infidelity will affect the court's custody decision.

Cheating and child custody

There is a strong cultural stigma against cheating. However, it is generally not enough to sway a judge’s custody decision. After all, infidelity does not necessarily make someone an unfit parent. One or both spouses having an affair is not a valid reason to grant one parent more custody than the other.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If the extramarital relationship was carried out in front of the child and the judge determines that this was against the child’s best interests, it may impact their decision. The custody arrangement could also be affected by the extramarital partner in the affair. If one of the spouses exposed the child to someone who is involved in drugs, is abusive or poses some other risk to the child, it may sway the court’s ruling.

The effect on your custody arrangement

Every divorce and child custody arrangement is unique. There is no easy way to say whether infidelity could affect your child custody arrangement. You may wish to learn more about New Mexico’s child custody laws, especially the ones for your jurisdiction. If you are concerned that the outcome of your custody fight may be influenced by infidelity, be aware that you do have legal options. It is important to use every tool available to you to obtain the custody arrangement that is best for you and your child.

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Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law