If this is NC there is little that adultery affects from a legal standpoint, except alimony. I know very little about military aspects though and I do believe that hold some different standards, if the spouse committing adultery is the one in the military.
Adultery is still illegal in NC though you may need to weigh the pros and cons of going forward with a suit. The 3rd party can be sued for Alienation of Affection in which the spouse must show that the couple had a viable marriage and that the 3rd party influenced the spouse’s affections. They can be charged with Criminal Conversation (adultery) but from what I understand, this is rarely prosecuted. Either suit is long, drawn out, and costly. But they can be and have been won by the injured spouse.
The adultery will have little to do with the custody unless the children were present when this took place. If the children were not present, have no knowledge of this, and were not affected by the acts, then it serves only to show character of the parent. My husband’s ex was photographed taking her shirt off in several bars post separation, but was told that what she did on her time was her business, more or less.
He should fight for custody the best he can but in the end, be willing to settle for joint physical custody with equal time. Normally, courts do not look at a spouse having an affair as having anything to do with their ability to care for the child. Especially, if that parent has previously been a primary caregiver. There’s a lot of debate on that issue, but it will boil down to what the judge thinks, how much is presented in court and how well sharing custody could work between the parents.
The best option, if the children were not present during the adulterous acts, is to show the court why it would be in the child’s best interest to be in his care. Don’t be so concerned about showing that she’s a bad mother, but that he’s a good father. After the initial hearing, they would have a chance to renegotiate before it goes back in front of the judge. Go in asking for primary physical custody (NC defaults to joint legal if not specified) and agree to settle for joint custody with equal time.
Child support will be based on the # of overnights with each parent, their incomes, insurance, child care, and any other extraordinary expenses, or it can be an agreed on amount that the court would see as fair.
For everyone involved, it really is better that they attempt to look past their own differences and focus on what’s best for the child/children. Though he has a right to be angry and hurt, that does not necessarily mean that the child/children should be without the other parent. She needs to realize that though she is losing her husband, the child/children do not have to lose their father.
It often takes time to realize this but by then everyone has spent a LOT of money, time, been through a LOT of stress and humiliation…no one ever realizes that there’s a lot of water under the bridge until after they set it on fire. My thoughts are with you…hang in there.