Can Adultery Affect Child Custody During a Divorce?

Do you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have children together? If so, I am sure the first thing on your mind is who will get custody of the children after the divorce. This is a very common question for many people going through the process of divorce. There are a lot of different factors that go into determining custody of the child or children. Today we will be discussing how adultery affects child custody and what you should know if you find yourself in this situation.  

What is Adultery?

Adultery is an offensive act committed by a married person who forms a sexual relationship with someone other than their spouse. It can have serious legal, financial and emotional consequences for all of those involved. Acts of adultery can happen in any marriage and often can go unnoticed. 

There are many reasons why people commit adultery within their marriage. It can stem from a lack of fulfillment, poor emotional connections, or a desire for physical intimacy. Regardless of the reasoning behind these acts’ adultery affects more marriages than you might realize. The American Psychological Association found that infidelity was responsible for 20-40% of divorces across the country. 

Divorce in Florida

Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state. In short, this means that neither party has to prove fault for the ending of a marriage to receive a divorce. There are two ways of going about this process. One, to state that the marriage was irrevocably damaged and two that your spouse has been mentally incapacitated for the past 3 years before filing for divorce. 

No-fault divorces take the pressure off the court system and you by removing the process of going through proving which spouse is at fault. However, when adultery is involved, this can change many different aspects of the process of a divorce—ultimately making the proceedings longer.  

Adultery in Florida

Under Florida law, adultery is a crime. Therefore, your spouse can report you to the state if you are found committing adultery, by which you can then be prosecuted for the misdemeanor. Although it is rare to be prosecuted for this issue, it can arise during divorce proceedings. The most important aspect to remember is that the courts make their rulings based on concrete evidence. Hearsay and word of mouth are not enough to make the courts believe that your spouse committed the act of adultery. Because of this, you will need to have hard evidence proving adultery took place during your marriage. Speaking to a lawyer regarding the type of evidence need to provide the court is strongly suggested. 

Child Custody Laws in Florida

Many people think adultery will affect custody rights during a divorce, but it does not always happen. For the most part, custody rights are given to the fittest parent based on what is best for the child or children. In the court’s eyes, they will decide child custody by considering several different factors. Although adultery does not necessarily rule out a parent for receiving custody, it can be a factor in the court’s decision to evaluate each parents’ morals. Other than morals, there are other factors that the court will consider throughout the proceeding, such as: 

  • parent’s ability to provide for the children or child 
  • parents mental and physical health 
  • child’s home, school, and community records 
  • child’s preferences 

Suppose you are currently going through a divorce and have questions regarding child custody. In that case, you need an experienced lawyer to give you the right answers and advice during these difficult times. At Cobb Cole, our divorce attorneys will work with you to help you through a divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We have been serving the Daytona Beach area since 1925 and know how to win your case. 

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