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Coming to a child custody agreement after infidelity

There can be many reasons someone might consider a divorce. One of the most common reasons is infidelity in a marriage. If the couple shares children, the betrayal may prove to make an amicable split more difficult as the scorned spouse will likely have lost trust in the other parent. Maryland couples heading for divorce after infidelity may be wondering if cheating affects child custody agreements.

Though cheating on a spouse carries a stigma, the court does not consider an unfaithful partner as a bad parent. As long as the spouse does not carry on the extramarital affair in front of the children or introduce them to inappropriate people, the court will likely not consider custody based on the affair. It's not the affair that will affect a child custody agreement, but how the relationships involved in the extramarital affair will affect the children that can play a factor.

If the unfaithful spouse wants the new boyfriend or girlfriend involved in the child's life, it can further complicate the custody battle. The character of the other man or woman will likely be a concern for the parent seeking primary custody. Trust is broken between the couple when a spouse steps out of the marriage boundaries; therefore, the scorned spouse will likely not have fond feelings or trust the new partner around the children.

In divorce cases that involve a history of infidelity, agreements can be made in order for both parties to be comfortable moving on after a divorce. Some couples involve a therapist to address the introduction of a new partner to the children. Also, couples create guidelines such as a reasonable waiting period before bringing a new girlfriend or boyfriend into the lives of the children. Regardless if the divorce is amicable or not after infidelity, it would be wise for he or she to seek the counsel of a Maryland attorney to help sort through a child custody agreement.

Source:, "Does Cheating Affect Child Custody Arrangements? Here's When Infidelity Is Taken Into Consideration", Jacqueline Cote, April 18, 2018

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