How Can Having an Affair Affect Your Children?
Infidelity can affect a family dynamic in many ways. Even though an affair involves a spouse being unfaithful to the other spouse, children can also feel the effects of the affair and, sometimes, for years to come. An affair can affect your parent-child relationship, and it is important to understand the ways a relationship outside of marriage can affect your child.
An affair can affect your current family status in one major way, as many spouses decide to file for divorce in this situation. Divorce will permanently change your family, as well as your relationship with your children. When you live with your spouse and children, you generally get to see them every day and play a constant role in their lives. When you are your spouse decide to live separately and file for divorce, you will likely have to share custody and will not get to spend each day with your child.
Child Custody and Support
If you decide to get separated or divorced after an affair, you may wonder how infidelity will affect child-related issues in the divorce. Your spouse may cite adultery as “grounds” for the divorce, which means they will then need to prove the adultery occurred. However, just because adultery happened does not mean it will necessarily affect a child custody determination.
An affair - in and of itself - will not automatically result in a denial or reduction of custody rights. If your spouse is trying to obtain sole custody due to an affair, they must prove that sole custody would be in the best interests of the child. For instance, your spouse may allege that you constantly have partners in and out of the house, even when your child is there. If the court finds that these allegations are true, it may decide that this environment is not suitable or healthy for a child. This type of conduct is difficult to prove, however, and in many cases, an affair will not affect child custody rights.
Similarly, adultery does not often impact child support orders. Child support is based on a formula that considers your income and expenses and does not take factors like an affair into consideration. If your custody rights were reduced due to infidelity, it may result in a higher child support payment based on the percentage of custody. Otherwise, an affair should not have an effect on child support.
Whether you decide to get a divorce or not, you and your spouse will have to co-parent your child. Cooperative and civil co-parenting is critical for the emotional health of a child and, on the flip side, contentious parents can cause a child to feel insecure, torn, and uncomfortable with one or both parents. It is important for parents to seek the help they need to work together despite the anger and other issues that stem from an affair.
Contact a Fort Worth Family Law Attorney about Your Situation Today
No matter what family-related issues you face, the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker is ready to help. Our family attorney in Fort Worth handles many cases including divorce, child custody, and child support. All today at 817-332-7703 or contact us online for a consultation.