My wife has been cheating on me. I want to leave her, but I’m worried I won’t get custody of our kids. Are the courts still reluctant to grant child custody to fathers?
The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child. It will consider all relevant factors, including: the wishes of the child’s parents as to his custody; the wishes of the child as to his custodian; the interaction and relationship the child has with each of his parents; the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community; the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; any occurrences of abuse; and the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
Courts are no longer reluctant to grant custody to fathers. Courts have recently held that they cannot recognize a presumption in favour of the mother in a contest for custody of the children. In situations where the father could provide a more stable environment for the children, custody should be awarded to him. Allegations of acts of adultery are one relevant factor in determining the fitness of a particular parent to the custody of the children. A trial court must look at the evidence taken as a whole and to the factors listed above to determine who should be awarded custody of the children. A custody award is within the full discretion of the trial court.
Jeffrey W. Brend is a CPA and family-law attorney practicing with Chicago law firm Levin & Brend, P.C. He is the only person in the country affiliated with both the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the American Society of Appraisers. He can be reached at (312) 726-4440. View his Divorce Magazine profile.