In the glorious field of family law, people are constantly hurting their family. This includes cheating on their spouse. It ALSO includes keeping children away from the cheating spouse. In general, the Courts will not punish a child for one parent’s infidelity, so cheating will not affect custody.
California and No-Fault
Ronald Reagan passed no-fault divorce in California in 1969. To read more about fault v. no fault, click on these articles.
In general, the Courts will not consider fault in any of the issues of child custody, property division and support.
Loopholes in No-Fault in Property Division
Arguably, in property division, you can go around this “no fault” by alleging breach of fiduciary duty claims and wasting of assets on the mistress.
Loopholes in No-Fault in Spousal Support
You can also find a loophole to no-fault in spousal support, because per Family Code 4323, someone who is cohabiting with a partner has a decreased need for support.
Does Cheating Affect Custody
Does cheating affect custody?
Unfortunately, there is no circumventing the no-fault law in child custody. Custody is determined based on the CHILD, not the actions of the parents (cheating or not).
Most courts believe it’s in the best interests of a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents in a separation or divorce. They will not punish a child for one parent’s infidelity.
Unless there is other behavior by the cheating parent that is detrimental to the child, the infidelity alone will NOT impact custody. A cheater can still be a good parent. At the very least, the children will benefit from having both parents in their lives, even if one or both are unfaithful.