When you have skeletons in your closet, an examination of your history can be intimidating. The disgruntled spouse that files for divorce due to infidelity often wants to keep the children away from the cheating spouse. In general, New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state and the court will not punish a child for one parent’s infidelity, so cheating will not affect custody.

Let’s say that again: Having an affair does NOT automatically have any impact on your custody case.

However, if the new boyfriend or girlfriend of your spouse is unsuitable to be around children, this may be relevant. Unsuitable typically means there must be something seriously wrong, such as being a convicted felon or a drug addict. It is also generally not considered a great idea to immediately have the kids spending time with your new relationship partner. Kids, just like adults, need some time to get adjusted to the major life changes a divorce brings.

When can cheating affect child custody?

Not everything is black and white when it comes to child custody so, there are some cases where cheating can become an issue in your custody case, for example:

  • If there is evidence that the cheating spouse places the children in harm’s way or inappropriate situations as a result of cheating.
  • If there is evidence of child neglect due to cheating.

Determination of custody in New Jersey is based upon the best interests of the children. Therefore, if the cheating does not negatively affect the children, it most likely will not be considered by the court in a determination of child custody.

We have great attorneys that can help you through this.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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