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How Your Spouse’s Behavior Can Affect Child Custody

When a couple shares children, custody agreements can become a problematic part of the divorce process. In some cases, couples reach an arrangement on their own, but not always. In some cases, custody battles must be taken to court, where an outcome is determined as a result of many factors. The actions and behavior of both parents will be considered in these hearings and can have a significant impact on the results.

Domestic Violence

When domestic violence has occurred in a relationship, it will weigh heavily in the court’s decision. However, the outcome is different depending on the specific case. Some of the details taken into consideration include the frequency and severity of the incidents, physical evidence of abuse, police reports, any charges filed, and the parent’s threat to the child’s safety. Not only can accusations of domestic violence impact which parent is granted custody, but it can also impact the visitation rights. 


It is rather uncommon for infidelity alone to be used against a parent in a custody determination, but the life that your spouse has built in the wake of the affair might have an impact. The judge will consider factors such as the level of adjustment the children will face, and the children’s overall wishes. If the extramarital affair has developed into a relationship, this might not be a living situation with which your child is comfortable. If a child is old enough and knows about the affair, he or she might feel hostile and prefer living with the parent who was not unfaithful.

Responsibilities Within the Marriage

When determining who will receive custody, a judge may look at who has provided most of the care for the children in the past. For example, if your spouse works long hours or travels frequently and you were often left to care for the children, this might benefit your case.

Willingness to Support

The court never wants to divide a family if it is not in the best interest of a child. It is vital that you are willing to allow them to maintain a relationship with your ex, despite any hostility you might feel. Not only is this best for your child in the long run, but the judge may look for this behavior when making their decision. 

Custody agreements are complicated for you and your ex, but it is essential that your ultimate concern lies with the well-being of your children. The behavior of both parents is a factor, but there are many others, which may be out of your control.

If you have concerns regarding your impending divorce or child custody proceedings, visit one of our workshops for helpful advice and resources. Visit our website for dates, times, and locations.


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