You likely searched for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question of how adultery may or may not affect a child custody case. However, the details of a divorce proceeding can differ greatly from case to case, making it difficult to say whether adultery affects a custody case shortly.
In most instances, adultery as reason, grounds, or further proof of the necessity for a divorce would not directly affect a court’s decision on children’s custody. However, depending on circumstances, certain facts surrounding adultery and those committing the act may be crucial in a court’s decision to grant that parent custodial influence over their children.
What is Adultery, and How is it Proven in a Texas Court?
Adultery in Texas law is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse with a person besides your spouse. It is certainly a cause for a “fault” divorce. However, unless the accused spouse admits to the act, you must prove the affair likely took place.
Most often, proof is not required that an act of sex occurred. It could be shown to be most likely, based on circumstantial evidence such as;
- Pictures or videos
- Bank or credit card statements
- Texts or emails indicating the affair took place, or
- Eyewitness accounts
How Does Adultery Affect a Court’s Custody Decision in Texas?
One’s ability to be a faithful spouse is not directly linked to their ability to be a successful and loving parent. When determining child custody, a court should consider only the latter.
However, certain occurrences or evidence could persuade a judge to decide that an affair indicates that a spouse does not possess the good judgment qualities required for parenthood. For example, suppose the matter was exposed to the children in a salacious or otherwise harmful way by the accused or accusing parent. In that case, this may affect the judge’s decision relating to custody.
In addition, if the individual involved does not have parentage over the children and is a harmful presence around them, the parent responsible for exposing their children to such a person may have their good judgment questioned. This lack of judgment could play a factor in the custodial decision.
How Can a Family Law Attorney Help Me With My Custody Case if Adultery is Involved?
If you believe that adultery will play a factor in a court’s decision regarding the custody of your decision, a family law attorney with experience in child custody cases can help. Call us today to set up an initial consultation to discuss the specifics of your child custody case. Book an appointment at 817-285-2855.