Divorce can be ugly at the best of times, but where adultery is concerned the court cases often become even more aggressive and adversarial. At the same time it is also likely to affect the outcome of the court case.
If you have committed adultery, you might not think that your relationships and your extra-marital activities should necessarily affect your ability as a parent, it does often make the divorce your fault in the eyes of the court (though this is often an oversimplification). At the same time you may well be perceived as having spent time with your affair that could have been spent with your children. By risking your marriage you will be seen as having damaged their home life knowingly which will make the other party look more conscientious in bringing up your children. Thus if your ex-partner was the adulterer, then you will have a strong case in court and should find that custody of the children is more likely to go ‘your way’ more quickly.
For an adulterer looking to get child custody the battle will be much harder. You will need more legal advice, and you will need to focus your case on why you still provide the better home for your children. If you can shed doubt on your ex spouse’s faithfulness (honestly) then this could help your case, as could looking at the reasons you were unfaithful – what was it about your home life that drove you to it? Again only use these strategies if they are honest, or you will further damage your relationships and hurt your family.
If you are the ‘innocent’ party then focus on how the adultery has affected the marriage and your children and the stable environment you previously had. Again it is important to get good legal advice despite the seeming ‘advantage’. Meanwhile do not argue with the court’s visitation rights or you may lose custody subsequently.
It is worth baring in mind that animosity is likely to be higher in such situations than normal, and particularly as the partner who has been cheated will likely be looking to ‘punish’ the other party. It is important that neither of you focus on the other parent, but instead focus on your children. Try to see the relationship problems for what they are and move forward in the way that you honestly believe to be best for your children.