One mistake that people sometimes make with divorce is in assuming that the type of spouse someone was will determine what type of parent they are. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many cases where someone was not an ideal spouse, but they are still more than fit to be a terrific parent.
For instance, you sometimes see this in cases where one person was unfaithful. The other person will want sole custody of the kids. Their reason will be that the other person had an affair.
While it’s understandable why they would feel hurt and frustrated about this, and why they may not see that person in a favorable light, this often has nothing to do with the type of parenting the other individual provides. They can still take great care of the children and they have a right to see them.
Do the courts consider it at all?
The above does not mean that the court won’t consider adultery. They can and they will. It may impact the case on some level. But it usually has very little to do with custody decisions.
One way that it could matter, for instance, is if the person having the affair had a documented pattern of leaving the children home alone while meeting up with their new partner. If this was deemed to be a dangerous situation for the children — perhaps they’re too young to be left home alone — then the court may give primary custody to the other parent.
But the main thing that the court looks for is how the parents can address the children’s best interests. If your ex can still be an effective parent, regardless of why your marriage ended, that is going to matter the most. Courts generally want children to see both parents unless it proves impossible or unsafe.
Exploring your options
Try to keep things like this in mind as you look into all of your legal options. Remember that you can have your own goals, but you also have to consider the court’s goals and what is best for your children. You and your ex can then work together to find a solution that puts the kids first.