Can I get full custody of my two kids if my wife got pregnant from another man? 27 Answers as of July 11, 2013

My wife left me for another man and ended up getting pregnant by mistake while we're still married. Would this give me total say so in the courts? I don't even want to be nasty and try and take the kids away. I just want equal custody of our two kids. She can file one and I file one on our income taxes. I just want what's fair.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
It is possible for you to get custody. ORS 107.137 governs child custody determinations, and provides, in part: (1) In determining custody of a minor child, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors: (a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members; (b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child; ( c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship; (d) The abuse of one parent by the other; (e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and (f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/5/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
Your wife's adultery may or may not have an influence on your case, depending on the circumstances. There is almost no situation which would give you "total say so" in the courts. If your wife has been a good mother, the adultery may have little to no impact whatsoever. On the other hand, in Louisiana equal sharing of custody of children is becoming more and more the norm rather than the exception. If you and your ex live fairly close to one another and a schedule can be worked out that has the minimal impact on the children, a 50-50 custody sharing agreement is a quite reasonable goal.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/1/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
No it wouldn't. Many factors are considered by the court
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/1/2011
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
Her unfaithfulness and lack of morals will certainly be a factor the court can consider when trying to determine how to serve the best interests of your children. It won't give you total say so, but it will be a major factor.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/1/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Washington is a no fault State. Typically, infidelity is not a factor.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The court will also consider the best interest of the children in determining custody. While infidelity may be a consideration, it is not dispositive of the issue. There are many other factors to consider. You need to visit a domestic relations counsel soon. The average cost to raise a child through age 18 today exceeds $200,000. You may be on the hook for a share if that if you do not address the rebutable presumption that all children born in a marriage are children of the husband.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    While I suppose that there are always exceptions, in general, whether your spouse is pregnant by another man should make little or no difference to how the court formulates a parenting plan for the children of your marriage. There is a list of statutory factors that the court is supposed to consider in deciding where the children are going to live the majority of the time. Some of those factors include such things as: Who has taken the greater responsibility for providing for the day to day needs of the children, who are the children more bonded to at this phase of their lives, what arrangement is going to least disrupt the lives of the children. Being pregnant by another man is not one of the factors.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    It does not automatically cause her to loose custody of the children. It sounds like you are willing to share joint custody anyway. I encourage to you contact the office for a free confidential consultation. You need an attorney to represent you and protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If the third child was born during your marriage, it is presumed to be your child and you will be treated as the child's father for all purposes unless the divorce court specifically declares that you are not the father. Your wife's conduct is, by and large, irrelevant to custody issues. If you and she cannot agree on an appropriate parenting plan that involves both parents in raising the children, a judge will have to decide what is in the children's best interest. That will include concerns about where the children live, how much time they spend with the other parent, who has decision making authority, etc. There will also have to be a determination of child support and, in Colo, that will include how to allocate the tax exemptions if you and your wife cannot agree. You need to consult an attorney to discuss all the relevant facts and evaluate the best course of action to take in concluding the divorce process.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    Wisconsin is not a "fault" state. So it would not be used in this way. Joint custody though is typical, and then it is the placement time that needs to be worked out/negotiated. If we can assist you, see our website for our locations.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
    Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
    The short answer is that a Judge will usually be guided by what he or thinks will be in the "best interests of the children" so even if your wife has been a poor spouse you and your lawyer would still have to convince the Judge that you would be the better custodial parent. Maybe in your situation this would not be too difficult.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Her having an affair and getting pregnant by another man will have little to do with the custody determination. However, that child is still a child of the marriage, so you would need to file an affidavit of non-paternity. The parental responsibility and timesharing that will be established will be based on whatever arrangement is in the best interest of the children.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Florida is a shared parental responsibility state. both parties have equal rights to their children. what she did does not determine her to be an unfit mother to children.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend you retain a divorce lawyer to discuss all your rights and options. Proof of adultery may have impact on alimony and property division, but you need to discuss with your own divorce lawyer whether it has any relevance to the issue of child custody.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, the Court looks at a number of factors when deciding custody. Usually no one incident alone is a deciding factor, but can obviously be very helpful when all other factors are equal. Each Judge has their own criteria. You should discuss you case with an experienced divorce lawyer for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    California has no-fault divorces. Your wife's getting pregnant by another man during your marriage is irrelevant to the issue of child custody, so the Court would likely not admit any evidence of your wife's affair or pregnancy. Child Custody is based on the relationships of the respective parents with the children, and the quality of their parenting.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
    There are many factors that the courts will consider in deciding custody, The focus is on what is in the best interest of the children. Keep that in mind with your desire to be fair and you should be able to craft a co-parenting agreement to do what is best for your children. call 401 Divorce if you have further questions.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    California is a no fault state, so your wife's pregnancy with another man will not have any bearing on custody of your other two children. The courts look to what is in the best interests of the children when determining custody and visitation. It is the presumption of most courts that it is in the best interests of the children to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington the courts will order a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the kids after considering all the factors. The factor you mentioned is of little or no relevance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
    This circumstance requires thorough legal representation in order to protect your rights. While this child is not yours, you are the presumed father under MN law because you were married when the child was born. Therefore, the divorce must specifically address this issue or you will have legal obligations for this child. In response to your question about whether this situation gives you an advantage in seeking custody of your children, the answer is no. Marital misconduct, such as having an affair, is not allowed to be considered in the divorce, by law. Other issues, such as substance abuse, mental illness and domestic abuse, are relevant to custody. Seek advice and representation from an experienced family lawyer to obtain the best possible outcome.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Custody is based on the best interest of the children. Part of that analysis is considering a number of factors (listed below). Your wife's actions might have some small degree of relevance on some of those factors, but it certainly won't be sufficient to give you a slam dunk win. The other facts in the case will likely be more important.
    5328. Factors to consider when awarding custody
    (a) FACTORS. In ordering any form of custody, the court shall determine the best interest of the child by considering all relevant factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors which affect the safety of the child, including the following:
    (1) Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.
    (2) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child.
    (3) The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.
    (4) The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life and community life.
    (5) The availability of extended family.
    (6) The child's sibling relationships.
    (7) The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment. (8) The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm.
    (9) Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child's emotional needs.
    (10) Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child.
    (11) The proximity of the residences of the parties.
    (12) Each party's availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements.
    (13) The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party's effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party.
    (14) The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party's household. (15) The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party's household.
    (16) Any other relevant factor.
    (b) GENDER NEUTRAL. In making a determination under subsection
    (a), no party shall receive preference based upon gender in any award granted under this chapter.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The fact that your spouse is pregnant and you are not the father would have little to no impact on a child custody case. The only issue is what a court believes to be in the children's best interest and conduct that impacts parenting.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Unfortunately it's not a given that the fact that your wife got pregnant with another man would mean you would automatically get custody. A judge looks at many factors when determining custody, and while that may be a factor, it may not be the only factor or the determining factor. You need to consult with a family law attorney about your situation and the viability of your custody case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    The standard for determining custody is the best interest of the child.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Well, "fair" is in the eye of the beholder. Short version - her pregnancy means very little as to custody of the other children (if anything, it helps her under the statutory factor of "bonds to siblings").
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/30/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The affair probably has little to do with custody. Custody and visitation is decided based on each parent's parenting ability and the interest of the child, not parental sex lives. The affair presents a big problem for you. Legally, the child she had by someone else is YOUR child. You will have to support that child for the next 18 years unless the court makes a finding that the child is not yours in the divorce. You need a VERY good lawyer. Get one ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/30/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney