When spouses get divorced in Georgia, one spouse's infidelity usually doesn't influence the court's decision when it comes to custody. However, the court will take it into account if the unfaithful spouse's behavior had a negative impact on his children's best interests.
Best Interests of the Child
Georgia, like all states, determines custody based on the best interests of the child. To determine whether one or both parents will provide a home for the children or make important decisions concerning their welfare, Georgia courts look at a variety of factors, from the mental and physical health of each parent to the affection, love, emotional ties and bonding between parents and children.
Impact of Adultery on Custody
While infidelity is not likely to impact the court's custody decision, if the cheating spouse involved his children in the adulterous relationship -- for example, by engaging in the extramarital affair while in the children's presence or neglecting the children as a result of his cheating -- the court will likely take this behavior under consideration. Since the parent's actions were not in the children's best interests, it may result in the parent losing custody during divorce.
References & Resources
- Hindson and Melton: Georgia Child Custody | Best Interests of the Child
- Meriwether and Tharp: Georgia Child Custody Rights - Legal vs. Physical Custody
- Stearns-Montgomery and Proctor: How Does Adultery Affect Georgia Divorce Cases?
- Stephen A. Land: Does Adultery Still Matter?
- Merriwether and Tharp: Adultery's Affect on a Divorce Case in Georgia
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