In Oklahoma, adultery and child custody are common issues in divorce and paternity cases. Finding out your Childs parent has been unfaithful can be a crushing blow. The betrayal and shame surrounding the breach of trust can cause feelings of anger and resentfulness. While some couples may work through the feelings that adultery may present, it can signal the end of a marriage or partnership for many others. If this is you and you share children with your spouse or significant other, then you may be wondering how cheating may impact your child custody arrangement. Read on to learn more about adultery and child custody, including what you can do if you are contemplating divorce.
What Is Considered Adultery in Oklahoma?
It is important to understand that what the law considers cheating may differ from what you think it is. Simply corresponding with someone who is not your spouse and establishing an emotional connection may be considered cheating by some. For others, exchanging explicit photos through text messaging may also constitute infidelity. Under the law, cheating, also known as adultery, is defined as engaging in consensual sex with someone who is not your spouse. This means that for the court to consider unfaithfulness in connection with your divorce or custody case, there generally must have been some sexual contact with a person that is not your spouse.
Adultery And Child Custody
While infidelity is one of Oklahoma’s grounds as a reason for divorce, it typically will have little-to-no impact on your custody case. It is unlikely that you will get a more favorable custody order simply because your spouse cheated. Still, it may be a consideration in evaluating the fitness of a parent.
You must remember that your custody case will be decided based on what is in your child’s best interest. Because of this, your spouse’s affair may be considered if it somehow jeopardized the wellbeing of your children. Some examples of this are:
The affair took place in front of your children: A judge may consider the judgment of a parent who openly cheats on their spouse. A child seeing their parent commit adultery can have a devastating effect on their emotional state and development. Witnessing a parent engage in this behavior can create confusion and necessitate therapy and counseling for the child.
The person with who your spouse cheated abuses your child: You have a right to know who will be around your children. Any person that is causing your child physical, sexual, emotional, or mental abuse should not be allowed to continue being in their presence, and your custody order should reflect this. The judgement of a parent in allowing an abusive partner to be around your child can be considered in your custody case.
Your spouse’s lover is a threat to your children due to criminal history or drug abuse: If your spouse’s lover is known to be violent or abuse drugs, then you can certainly mention this in your custody case. If their criminal history shows a pattern of dangerous or immoral behavior, the judge may also consider this. Additionally, if your spouse is unwilling to keep their lover away from your children, this may result in you getting more time with your kids and only allowing your spouse to have supervised visits.
While cheating alone may not directly affect your divorce or paternity case, it may have an indirect impact in certain scenarios. As always, it is recommended that you consult with a family law lawyer before filing for custody.
Tulsa Child Custody Attorney
Several things can place a parent at serious risk of losing custody. If you have questions about joint custody or sole custody matters in Oklahoma, then it is important that you speak with a skilled child custody attorney right away. They can guide you through challenging child custody issues and help you resolve matters on terms that work for you. Consulting with an attorney so that you understand your custody rights is essential to getting a positive result. Get a free consultation at Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or contacting us online.