Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

In accordance with Maryland Governor Hogan’s COVID-19 Executive Orders, Oliver Family Law will remain open for business as an essential service. During this time, our team of attorneys and support staff will be working from home, however, we will continue to provide essential services to our clients.
We are available via email and/or phone as well as via videoconference.
We hope you stay well and safe during this difficult time.
Oliver Family Law - Divorce
Family Law Help Tailored To Your Needs
Home » Blog » Could an affair impact child custody arrangements?

Could an affair impact child custody arrangements?

A contentious divorce may sometimes involve the deposition testimony of friends or coworkers. If that testimony might regard an affair and a parent’s fitness for custody, however, the proceeding could get messy.

Specifically, a recent example between a divorcing university trustee and his wife almost required the university’s former football coach to give a deposition. The questions would have been pointed: directed at the alleged affair between the former coach and the trustee’s wife.

Readers may question why evidence of cheating would even be relevant in a no-fault divorce. The answer has not do with the either spouse’s ability to file for divorce, but a child custody battle between the parents. In Maryland, providing stability for a child is a primary concern of the court. Yet a divorce court may consider a variety of factors when determining child custody.

Maryland, like most states, has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act. That provides consistency across the country, to an extent. Yet a family law court also will consider any factor that may be pertinent to a child’s best interests. If an affair distracted a parent to the point of being unable to meet the daily physical, emotional, educational and developmental needs of a child, it’s conceivable that joint custody might be withheld from a cheating spouse.

However, there is a wide gulf between what is theoretically possible and the practical approach that family law courts take. Although an affair might produce heated emotions and prompt a divorce filing, it would take persuasive evidence to demonstrate that a parent could not provide a safe, stable and nurturing environment after the divorce. In this case, notably, the divorcing couple resolved their property division and child custody disagreements without needing to depose the former coach.

Source: Courier-Journal, ” Blues settle divorce without Charlie Strong,” Andrew Wolfson, Feb. 25, 2016