Can my husband win custody of our daughter if i have cheated on him?

Francis - posted on 04/01/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I am thinking about divorcing my husband because we are fighting all the time and we don't get along any more and i don't want our daughter to be raised around fighting all the time. I was just wondering if I cheat on him and he can prove it and it comes down to a custody battle, would he be able to get custody of our daughter because i have cheated on him? my friends tell me no but i wanted to get other opinions.

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[deleted account]

Sorry, but I am married to a divorced man with two very damaged sons who are now 28 and 26 years of age, my first brother is divorced with a son who is 16 and who is suffering and remarried to a divorcee with a son who has suffered, my youngest brother is divorced with 2 daughters who are 10 and 4 and suffering terribly, All because of divorce. my second brother was divorced and his two babies suffered terribly until they decided that their children were so important to them that restoring their marriage and working through it was going to be their goal. They are one of the most impressive couples i know today and their children are at peace and secure in their world where my other nieces and nephews are torn apart. My step sons have never recovered and bounce between blaming mom and blaming dad all the time. They hate me and love me at the same time because I married their dad after their mother remarried. Their mother is divorced again and the daughter she had with her second husband is struggling seriously now. Grow up and face the realities of the world. I see more pain in children daily from their parent's selfish Disney World ideas of marriage and life. WE DO NOT LIVE IN A FAIRY TALE! Marriage is the hardest job in the world and it requires that we put aside our own selfish desires and love unconditionally a man who is a failed human with flaws just as he chooses to love us with all of our stupid flaws, ideas and emotions.

Yes Virginia, Santa knows you want your mother and father together again, but they are too selfish to care about you over their own desires. They should have bought a dog instead.

Tiffany - posted on 05/31/2010

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All I know about cheating in a marriage is that it doesn't affect who gets custody, but I heard that if your husband can prove that you cheated then you don't get half of everything. i'm not sure if this is true or not, but it's what I have heard.

Cathy - posted on 04/22/2009

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I have to disagree with the last post...kids DO care if Mommy and Daddy fight, and they deserve to not be put in the position to hear/see it. Every situation is different - you cannot say in such broad terms that the only good decision is to stay. There are many circumstances that are deal breakers for a marriage. Everyone has their own breaking point and if making a fresh start on your own (with your kids) keeps your sanity intact then I applaud you on making that courageous decision.



A bad marriage is not a safe haven for children...yelling, fighting, hitting - these are not acceptable images for kids to watch from their parents. It scars them emotionally - I can speak from experience. You know what's best for you and your children. Follow your instincts.

Dina - posted on 04/21/2009

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No, he cannot, I used to work for an attorney, the only way you can lose custody of your child(ren) is if you abuse or neglect them. An affair, altho not the best decision for your marriage, is no reason to take a child away from a parent.

[deleted account]

I do not agree with much of their philosophy (I am not KJV only), but when it comes to relationships the Pearls are the best. If you are really serious about taking care of your children and if you really want to quit fighting with your husband you should get her book on "Created to be His Help meet".

Marriage is a commitment and when you walk out on it you damage yourself, your husband, your children, your extended family and you set up a pattern of giving up in your children's lives.

Kids do not care if Momma and Daddy fight as long as they stay together.

I am a wife of a divorced man with 2 sons I helped raise. I have a son whose father refused to have anything to do with him and we have 8 children that we have had together.

My step sons still grieve over their parents divorce. Their mother hates their father, she hates me, she hates herself and now her second husband has left her for another younger woman taking their daughter away from her.

When she decided to leave her husband she had an affair. She hated that they were fighting all the time and decided that if she was happy the kids would be happy.

What a laugh!

She is in her own personal hell and has been since she left.

She dragged her sons there with her and they both went through drug issues and misery. Life has been nothing good for her since she left her first marriage and gotten worse as she went on.

I married the same man she did and I have lived with him for 15+ years now. We have fought and struggled and hated each other as well as loving each other. We struggle daily at times to even make it through, but every effort has been worth it. Every sacrifice on my part and his have gained us more closeness. We have fought together and against each other. In the end we are here to stay and we will make it through.

My goal has been to put HIM first. HE the head of my home and HE is the final authority.

I am very strong and both of us are leaders so we had to sort out what I needed to run. Once he realized what I could handle we have balanced our places well.

I keep him as my priority, and make sure that above all and through all of his flaws I maintain my respect for him as the man and leader in our home.

I have found that if I put him in that role

HEAR THAT: I put him in that role!

The peace that comes from that is blessed. The children are happy and obedient, and my husband steps up to the plate most of the time (he is getting better with practice and with my stepping out of the position), and the benefit is I like him more and more.

If you walk out on your marriage, as you already have emotionally, you will suffer the consequences that are not pretty and will effect you the rest of your life and your children's lives.

I strongly recommend that you stick it out and work on putting yourself under your husband. That is the hardest part, but pays off more than anything else you can do.

Do not do what you have planned in your heart. Do not leave.

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29 Comments

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Jess - posted on 05/31/2010

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Regardless of the advise you receive here, would it be worth the risk of loosing your children for ? If your looking for an easy one night stand, there will be plenty of sleazy guys ready to help you out once your divorce is final, and if its a great guy who loves you... he will be waiting for you once your divorce is final.

I think a judge would take your actions into account when making a decision on custody, the example your setting for your children and most importantly where your children were when you had this affair. If your leaving them with a sitter to go have sex than why shouldn't your ex have the kids ?

My advise would be to wait !

Wendy - posted on 05/31/2010

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He would have to prove you are an unfit mother.If you're a good mother, there is no way he can prove that you arent.

KELLY - posted on 05/31/2010

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UNLESS YU HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE AN UNFIT MOTHER, WHY WOULD HE GET CUSTODY? AND WHY ARE YOU THINKING OF CHEATING ON HIM AT THIS JUNCTURE ANYWAY. GET A DIVORCE AND THEN DO WHAT YOU WANT.

Carissa - posted on 05/02/2009

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Quoting Deangela-Deanne:

Kids do not care if Momma and Daddy fight as long as they stay together.


I'm sorry, but that's completely untrue. 



Cheating doesn't have that much bearing on custody, unless it is goes hand in hand with some other questionable behavior.  Domestic violence, however, is going to be a deal breaker for your husband if he has aspirations to win custody of your daughter.  If he has hit you, there is no way a judge is going to give him custody.  I do think that if you are considering divorce, however, it would be advisable to get things sorted out before you begin another relationship.  Not only do you want to be on the up-and-up if you're about to be in a custody battle, but I really wouldn't want you to do something that might provoke more violence from your husband.



I'm sorry you're dealing with this.  It sounds very difficult.

Helen - posted on 04/30/2009

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Anyone who tells you to stay in an abusive relationship because marriage is a commitment yada yada yada are WRONG. You do not need to stay with a man who hits you. Think about later on down the line and what if your daughter does something that angers him and he strikes her. I say get out now.



I don't see you having an affair having an effect on custody unless of course he can prove that at the time of the actual affair that you were neglecting you daughter to pursue the affair.

[deleted account]

If he's abusive, I can't see him getting custody even if you did cheat. If you want to know for sure, have a consultation with an attorney.

Libby - posted on 04/22/2009

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Infidelity is not (in most states) listed as a cause for divorce, let alone custody issues. Usually it's just "irreconciliable differences". It shouldn't play a part in the custody unless you have made bad choices in parenting to be with someone else. Just play it smart and work on the marriage or end things before you move on.

Barbara - posted on 04/20/2009

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I second Erin's advice. Leave him first, then pursue other relationships. Cheating makes everything way more complicated, and though it doesn't seem like it's fair to use that against you in the divorce proceedings, it does sometimes end up making a difference. It did for my (male) friend who cheated on his wife. Of course, if you can prove that he has been abusing you that would be a big strike against him. My best advice is to keep things as amicable as possible from your side at least.

Erin - posted on 04/20/2009

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I HATED my ex-husbadn before I left him and he cheated on me. IT still hurt, BAD! Maybe you should think of respecting yourself as an intelligent women and not cheat. Leave him first then there are no questions, no grey zones. And further down the line, years from now what will you tell your kids? How will you explain it especially if daddy tells them. Don't put yourself in a posisiton to have to defend yourself and your action for the rest of your life. I could have cheated on my ex, gleefully and happily at the time but close to 10 yrs. later I thank God I didn't. Mainly for my self respect and for the respect of my children. You are worth way more then to cheat. Leave him First.

Cathy - posted on 04/18/2009

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Wow, I really feel for you, especially after reading your last post about your husband hitting you. That's a deal breaker if I ever heard one. What is it with men thinking they can get away with that crap? It makes me wonder who raised these 'men' !?!

Sezy - posted on 04/17/2009

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I know some people are saying that you should try everything to save your marriage but i say good on you for deciding to leave. If he has hit you in the past and resently i wouldn't be sticking around. For the safety of yourself and your daughter it would be best to get out before it gets worse. Fighting all the time could fuel his temper and he could get worse. Goodluck and i hope things get better

Jojo - posted on 04/16/2009

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No at the end of the day they will look at it as where would the child be best with her mother or father and they will look at the relationship (bond) you have with your daughter and its about 5% that the child in some cases would be put with the father but only if they saw that the mother was unfit to look after the child but keep your chin up and stick to your guns

Marie - posted on 04/14/2009

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If you haven't got councling, mentor, group help, see out professional help, you haven't made much of an effort. And believe me, it takes real courage to do all that, expecially on your own. If he isn't interested, (like mine wasn't) show by example and he may follow. If you go to councling and seek help on your own, and he still doesn't follow your lead, then maybe you've done all u can. But in retrospect, you want to look back at your relationship and say that you've done eveything you possible could have done, so later you would look back and say, "Oh if I would have done that.." or "What if I did that..."

He needs to go to anger mangement classes. It will be required by the courts if he ever wants to have partical custody or even wants see his daughter. I too was in the same sitution. Try a break from him for a while, not a diviorce, just a break or separtion. See how things go from there. Ask him to think back to why u guys got together in the first place, and what was it that turned each other on. Your baby girl isn't that old, the love didn't go that far away.... Good luck and we are praying for you and your family.

Francis - posted on 04/14/2009

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I have made an effort and tried to make it work with him and one reason why i left is because in the past he has hit me before when he lost his temper on occasions and has hit me recently. that is the main reason why i left.

Heather - posted on 04/11/2009

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I would agree with the last post...make every effort before you throw in the towel.  Also talk to other married couples...you will find that every marriage has its ups and downs.  My husband and I come from divorced parents...his did when he was young and mine when I was a freshman in college.  My parents know now what they had together is better than what they will find apart but have moved on anyway.  His family is complicated and  we would do anything to keep our children from having to be raised that way.  Just be sure it is what is best for all of you...and make a list of both positives and negatives, you might be surprised.

Marie - posted on 04/10/2009

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I went through the same with my husband. We separated during last summer. I had my 2 boys ages 1 and 3. A divorce is extreamly difficult for children to be caught in the middle. I would recommend before you throw in the towel, that you give your marriage a chance. We will celebrate our 4th anniversay this July. Marriage is hard, but you can't give up, expecially give up on your little ones who need a dad as well. Try councling, talk and surround your self with positive married couple who value each other. I am actually surprised that no one has posted any advice to try to make things work. We fought all the time, argued to no end, in front of our little boys, none the less. But after our "separation time" we decied that's not the legeacy we want for our children, so we were determind to make our marrige last in a divorce-hungry world. It's hard, probley the hardest time in my entire life, but believe me when I say your daughter will thank you when she gets married and has had a good example from her mother AND father. And trust me, being a single mother is no joke, I think that's soooo much harder than being in a unhappy relationship. Your not always going to be on "cloud 9" your whole marriage, but working through the hard times makes you happy. Very happy. And to go so low to cheat on him?? Have some respect for yourself girl!!

So here's the advice I would give:
Get help-positive married couples, counclers, friends who value families and marriage
Try not to fight/argue in front of your daughter. Say can we take this in the other room?
And third, but most important...Don't give up!!!!!! No matter how hard u try, u can't be a dad to your daughter, and no one else will love your daughter like her own father will.
Good luck to you and your fam. It is worth it to stay together, you are stronger as a family than apart.

Heather - posted on 04/09/2009

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I see evryone else says no, however I do feel it could play into a judgment of your character and what you value to important in your life. Not based on parenting alone but a lot goes into what makes up your parenting ability and character is one of them. Not that I think he'd win on that alone I just think you should be prepared for that type of response from a judge.

Heather - posted on 04/08/2009

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I agree with the other ladies.  It is determined on your parenting and the kind of people you are.  Who is stable, loving, caring....also mature.  If neither of you are bad parents they will most likely try for a joint situation...just remember not to put your daughter in the middle.  And try to keep a talking relationship to your ex it only has to be about your child...it will help your case.

Christina - posted on 04/08/2009

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No that has nothing to do with you parenting skills. As long as your a good mother, Ive been thru 3 bitterchild custody issues with my ex-hubby who is constantly trying to prove me unfit to get custody. He even kidknapped one of my daughters for a month, because I moved to a different city, because I have a drink on occasion, because I did not want to talk to him, bla bla bla ..... A lawyer once told me that the only way they can take a child from ther mother is sighns of abuse, or more than 3 positive drug test for meth or crack. As long as your a good mother to your child you have nothing to worry about! :)

Elizabeth - posted on 04/01/2009

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I would find it really hard to believe a judge giving custody to the dad just because the mom had an affair.  It would probably come up during the trial; but I wouldn't think that would be something that the judge would base him decision on.

Heather - posted on 04/01/2009

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I can't imagine that having mcuh bearing on custody...I don't know what the situation would be, but it most likely doesn't have anything to do with your ability to parent, or the well-being of your daughter.  It may come up, but I would think there are lots of other factors which would determine custody.

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