I think you just answered your own question.

Adultry is a misdemeanor and rarely prosecuted. I have never heard of anyone going to jail for adultry. It CAN, however, affect custody and alimony issues.

What is your GOAL in even persuing it? If you don’t want to go to the court to tell the story again, then why do it? If you have a custody issue or an alimony issue, then, when THOSE things go to court, then the adultry can be mentioned if need be. If you’re trying to go after her paramour, then save up your money (bunches) and file a Criminal Conversation charge.

Thanks for the reply but how will this help me in a custody battle? She said that she had did it right in court and this was while in a battle
I am going to take her back for full custody of our children in time if this will help I will keep this in mind
Thank you

So you are telling me that Adultry can cuase a woman to loose custody of her child? How does commiting Adultry show just cuase that she is an unfit mother?

I said it COULD…not that it would. BOTH parents have just as much right to have custody of their kids. If the Mother wanted out of the marriage, committed adultry and left the home, then YES, I believe the courts would look more favorably at the Dad when deciding custody. Didn’t say it would happen, only that it’s a plus on the non-fault parent and a minus on the at-fault parent, in my opinion. Being unfit to ME means abusive behaviour or substance abuse or flagrant and continued promiscuity/adultry. That is my opinion. I wouldn’t think an act of adultry makes you unfit. There are other factors. I know of many instances where an act of adultry lead to a long term and wonderful marriage in which parenting was very positive. The parents are good, they just may have made a mistake. I’m sorry if I offended anyone.

No offense was taken, its just scaring me. I have in no way been unfit to my children. Something happened a year ago I told my husband and now he is saying that it makes me a neglectful mother. I have never left them alone - unless in his care. I dont drink, or do drugs, and Im not abusive. I believe both parents do have rights to there children but he is sueing for full custody becuase I have hurt him. I just dont understand why me not wanting to be married anymore qualifies me as a bad mother.

Your ex is lashing out at you through the kids. I absolutely ABHOR this kind of tactic. I hear and see it all over. One spouse is hurt, so they won’t let the other spouse see the children, or they plan things on the other’s weekends or make the kids ‘chose sides’ by involving them in the hurt feelings, or they tell lies about the other parent. It is TOTALLY unfair to the children and shows absolute immaturity on the part of the parent.

Not wanting to be married to someone does not make you unfit. Him suing you for custody…he will have to prove and show a significant reason and/or change of circumstance to warrant the change in custody. Him being mad at you for what you did does not constitute that reason. He is getting to you emotionally. You just need to stand by your feelings and not cower to him. If you have a court ordered or signed agreement concerning custody, then he will have to take the measures to change it. Doesn’t sounds like he has a case. Don’t worry.

This posting is getting some answers
What is an unfit parent?
Is it a parent that leaves the chidren all day at home and night and comes home at 8 or 11 at night? Or they are unsupervied all day age should not matter here? Or there is nothing there for them to eat or the children must make it themselves what ever is in the house? Or she has the boyfriend stay all night at the home and has him pick up the children from school? Or she is verbally abusive towards the childern and the children are scared S---- of her they will say anyting just not to get her mad.
So please tell me what do we do? The courts are suppose to look out what is best for the children is this right? But not in this case they went by her word in court they did not even have me on the stand to tell.
My children do not even want to be with her now what I am to do please tell me I would really like to know this.
Sorry for being so long

If you are preparing to litigate custody, pursuing legal action against her may impact custody. If she is arrested, she will have a criminal conviction on her record and the court can consider it as evidence. You should remember though that a large number of people who end up litigating custody issues have been involved in affairs. Unless there is something concerning about the specific person she was involved with, (for example, she cheated on you with a convicted child molester), it is unlikely the court will give a conviction for adultery much weight.

On the other hand, if you bring this to the attention of a prosecutor and they do pursue her for it, you run the risk of making the judge angry at you. There is a chance that a Judge will see your actions as retaliatory and will think negatively of you because of that.

I would consider your options very carefully before you decide what to do. In the meantime, you can improve you chances at obtaining custody by spending as much time as possible with your children.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

I have been told that since I had an affair that I can be proven an unfit mother. I was told that when they get my hrs from my job and I cant prove were I was at if I did not make it home within the alotted time that i was being neglectful. I am confused. Yes I made a mistake and yes in a way it is going to affect my children but that was not the reason I wanted a divorce. I just want shared custody with the father and he believes I deserve none.

You are not an unfit mother if it takes you an extra hour to get home form work, as long as the children are properly cared for. (What right does your ex or stbx have to your employment records, other than the amount you make for cs or ss.) If that were the case, most parents would be unfit. We couldn’t go to the bank, grocery store, get gas, pick up birthday gifts etc etc etc. Yes being a parent is the most important “job” in the world, but we are individuals too. We need time to do stuff we want to do too. I wouldn’t put much stock in these threats. That is what they are. Bellyaching and trying ti intimidate you. If you are seperated, you do not have to answer to any one except on the matter of you children. If they are cared for, a few hours every now and then away from them will not reflect badly on you. That’s not to say that you can go and run the streets and act a fool. A reasonable amount of personal time is needed.

I would like to add that the courts, while concerned with your actions and behavior, that is only with how this action or behavior affects your children. We had reports of my husband’s ex taking off her top at a bar, getting drunk and fighting, but the attorney said that what was done on her personal time was useless information, unless the children were directly involved or affected. If the children are being cared for during your custodial time, even if it’s not by you, there is not much the stbx or x can do about it. If you were having an affair and the children were present to watch then they would have something to whine about. Normally, they are not a factor in custody cases. If you are leaving a pair of 5-6 year olds at home alone while you work for 6 hours without supervision, I would say that yes you are being neglectful. But that doesn’t sound like the case. The courts feel that shared custody is in the best interest of the children and it will take a LOT of stuff and witnesses to prove a parent unfit, mother or father. If there is no history of abuse, neglect, drugs or alcolhol then you stand a more than better chance of retaining joint custody.

Thank you stepmother for your reply
One thing you did not say what about verbal abuse this maybe one that is never thought of but is so easy to leave out. My ex is very verbal abusive to the children they have even told me this but what am I am to do about this? I have told her this but she says no to this she is a very bad liar and I am not the EX who says bad about her and I hope not to be like that.
The EX did wrong now she should pay for what she has done not just to me but our family and she be treated just like any other criminal they should pay they broke the law.
Thank you

You sound very angry and hurt. I am not saying you shouldn’t be, but have you thought of the effect your child(ren) will be subject to by having their momma locked up for adultry? If they are young, do you want to explain what that means; if they are older, do you want them to know about that part of your marriage? Sometimes being a parent involves sucking up your own injustices and going ahead with what you do have. Besides, legally it would be up to the procecutor in your county to enforce this “criminal offense”. If you live in an area of any size, I don’t think that they would have the time, resources or desire to enforce an antiquated law. As far as the verbal abuse, document the incidents. Talk to the child(ren)'s teachers and school councelors. Find out how it is effecting them. If need be take them to a professional to help them deal with their momma’s anger. If you think it is detrimental to the point of abuse, call DSS.

Thank you for your comments trbotina and stepmother… And while I know you sound reasonable on the fact that I did not neglect my kids by stopping at walmart on the way home from work, he still just throws it out there and i feel like there might be some way for him to fight me on it… It is so stressfull… I have never left my kids unattended and he works nights and I work days so one of us is always there. The times he talks about me being late, he is there. There was a couple times when i worked a night job till midnight and he was working days and sometimes i went to the bar for a couple hrs after work. But my kids were with him and they were sleeping, and that also he says is me being neglectful.

One thing I have learned through my divorce and dealing with my husband’s ex wife. You cannot control what other people do. They are going to say and do what they want. You have no control over that. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right nor does it mean you have to believe their opinions. Listen to you gut. This guy is just trying to bring you down and/or make you believe his line of bull in order to feel superior and get what he wants.

MyLife76 -

If I understand your situation correctly, your separation has not started? He can say you have neglected your children but the definition of neglect is: "Neglected juvenile.

Hello stepmother
I thank you for what you wrote but one thing that I am not trying to do is not let them see or be with her I would never do that to her I would like to but my heart would never allow me do that to her. She even said this in court that she would like to have them under one roof this one week on and one week off was not me but her and the judge this was not in the best interest for the children.
She is the one that has done a crime she is the one that left us alone when she was doing her thing. But lets put that aside and say what is the best for the chidren. A parent who has the martial home, lives in the school district, with a family that lives next door and can take care of them. Or a parent who lives in a rented home who is out of the school district, who has no family here, who is going to move to a different county and the job is based on how customers she can complete in a day.
I hope you can understand I do not want to hurt her I am looking out for the childern and there needs
Thank you

I was the parent who left the marital home, moved to another county, and switched my son’s school district. We moved into a 750 sq foot trailer built in 1978. There was never any discussion on who would get custody. My son is doing just fine, his grades are good and his attitude (other than the teenage moodiness) is positive. I do not restrict visitation between he and his father. I am not saying it was easy for my son, but he survived well. I’ve always put my son’s needs in front of mine. He was always warm, fed, clean (when with me) and held accountable for his actions. He is becoming a good man. Just giving you a different perspective.

I do understand your need to think of what’s best for your child, but other than emotional or physical abuse or neglect there is no reason to try to limit time with the other parent. You and your ex have separated for whatever reason but that is still your child’s mother. What she did to you has nothing to do with how she feels about the child that you share. At least I don’t believe so…I can’t imagine an affair ever having anything to do with the children. Yes, adultery is a crime and I do not believe in it. But that has nothing to do with the type of parent she is, has been or will be. Nothing will ever change the fact that this is your child’s mother. And no child should never have to choose between parents. Do you believe that your ex does not have your child’s best interest in mind? I know that there are parents like that…but realistically it’s usually only during the separation and divorce.
Now, if your ex is being vindictive towards you and using your child to get to you, then my suggestion is to stop letting it bother you. Realize that you will never control the situation and all you can do is take care of your child the best way you can while they are with you. Eventually, your ex will get the point that it does no good to play these games or your child will get sick of the drama and turn on the parent that is putting them in the middle. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen. If you share custody, you will have to work together. The best scenario, unless there is abuse, is to have equal time with both parents regardless of their finacial situation. Yes, there is a plus to having family near for a child, but it is not always necessary or better depending on the family…my husband has nothing to do with his family. Yes, finacially it looks better to own a home rather than rent, but what difference does that really make in the big picture. As far as her job goes…to me that could be argued that she has more flexibility. Living in the school district…not a big deal. Easier, yes, but not worth fighting over. This is all just my opinion but you commented that you and your ex are always back in court…why not try working together to raise your child. Decide what is really important, your child’s well-being to see his/her parents putting up a united front and getting along or constantly going to court and fighting over petty issues. In the end, you and your ex still have a child and unless you have her rights completely taken away…which takes an awful lot…you are going to have to share custody to some extent. Things get easier, but only if the two of you decide to make it easier. As I said, this is just my opinion.

Hi Stepmother
I agree with you 100% I have tried to work with her so many times but with great failure and it hurts me to see this but yet I still try may be one day she will see that but until that day I guess I must keep on trying.
Thank you