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I’ve committed adultery – can I still see my children?

Adultery is not often used as a reason for divorce these days, with most people applying for a divorce on the basis of unreasonable behaviour or 2 years separation.  

adulteryHowever, family law solicitor, Nicola Cancellara, often meets with anxious clients who have had an affair and are worried that it will impact on their finances, i.e. what they might receive by way of divorce settlement or maintenance, or whether it will affect their ability to spend time with their children.

Conversely, Nicola has also met clients whose partners have committed adultery. These clients often take the view that their spouses should not be entitled to any money at all and they question why their child should be able to spend time with their other parent’s new partner.

Courts don’t take account of adultery

The reality is that courts don’t take account of a person’s adultery when making decisions about matrimonial assets or whether a child should spend time with the adulterous parent.

Nicola Cancellara, family law solicitor

The court’s paramount concern is that of the child’s best interests.  Ordinarily, a court will not consider that it would be wrong for a child to continue to see a parent who has committed adultery.    The court will generally have a presumption in favour of a child having regular contact with both parents to ensure that the child is able to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents.

However, a court will expect that, where a parent has entered a new relationship, the new partner is introduced to their child sensitively, and only where it is likely to be a long term relationship,  so as to avoid the introduction of a number of new partners.

If you are divorcing or separating and need advice relating to your children, contact our experts to make an appointment now. You can also find out more on our webpages.

Author: Nicola Cancellara, family law solicitor.

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