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No, a cheating spouse won't affect your child custody agreement

By now, most people in Colorado have probably already heard of the hack on the popular Ashley Madison website, and some might even know people who were affected by the aftermath. In the face of infidelity, some couples decide that divorce is the most appropriate course of action. Unfortunately, myths concerning what can and cannot impact a settlement -- such as a non-cheating spouse having the upper hand with child custody -- seem to continue to circulate.

Although it can be quite painful to learn of a spouse's unfaithful actions, when it comes to child custody, the courts will consider what is in the child's best interests and not what a hurting parent feels is right. This even applies when one spouse believes that other prefers somewhat unconventional sexual acts, as children are typically not privy to the details of what goes on in a parent's bedroom. Instead, a judge will usually be most interested in how the child will benefit from a relationship with each of his or her parents.

Aside from custody, a cheating spouse does not indicate that one party will receive a significantly more favorable financial settlement. For the most part, assets and finances will still be divided according to what is most fair for the situation, albeit with one caveat. If one party can demonstrate that certain funds were spent solely on carrying out an affair, it is possible to recoup some of that money in the settlement.

While it is understandable that an individual might feel hurt and betrayed in the face of a cheating spouse, this does not automatically hand over the power to that person. Issues like child custody and asset division must still be handled according to what is fair, just and -- in the case of a custody agreement -- in the best interests of any children. Keeping this in mind can help Colorado couples proceed through the divorce process with the focus on achieving an equitable and comprehensive settlement.

Source: Forbes, "How Your Spouse's Ashley Madison Account Can Impact Your Divorce", Emma Johnson, Aug. 24, 2015

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