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Does infidelity matter when deciding child custody?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Child Custody |

Infidelity breaches a married couple’s vow to remain loyal to one another, so unsurprisingly, it is one of the most common reasons for divorces. However, infidelity can do much more than separate a couple. Depending on certain factors, it might also influence the outcomes of issues discussed during divorce, such as child custody.

How does infidelity factor in a Maryland divorce?

The state of Maryland grants both fault-based and no-fault divorces. It recognizes several faults as grounds for limited and absolute divorces, including adultery.

How might infidelity affect child custody?

Courts generally prioritize the child’s best interest when deciding which parent becomes the primary guardian. The judge would likely ensure that the child’s custodian would be able to provide them with a secure and stable environment to grow in. To that end, when deciding, the court usually considers all pertinent factors, including the parents’ behavior and conduct.

Infidelity is usually not a factor in determining custody, but the court might consider it if the unfaithful parent’s conduct negatively affects the child’s well-being. If the unfaithful parent, for example, left the family to pursue an extramarital affair, they might receive an unfavorable verdict from the court. The same might happen if a cheating partner deprived the family of financial support while spending money on an extramarital affair.

Infidelity can make child support more complex than it already is. For people facing such an issue in their divorce, an attorney can help them protect their and their children’s rights and increase their chances of achieving a fair and favorable outcome.