What should she do?


#1

Last year my wife and I separated. Our situation is fairly simple and is amicable. However I became involved with a coworker who wants to divorce her husband but is very concerned about the outcome. She has been living with her husband’s parents for 3 years now and has expressed her growing displeasure with the situation wanting a place of their own. Her husband either cannot or will not get a job and uses their lack of finances as an excuse for not getting their own place. She has been asking him for a while to remedy the situation and he has not taken her requests seriously. Last year she got involved with me and her husband became aware of her interest in me. Since then she has been conflicted over what to do. She wants to leave her husband but they have 2 children and she is afraid that her indiscretion will cause her to lose custody of her children. She is employed with a fairly decent job but cannot seem to find a place that she can afford by herself that will accommodate her children too. She also is afraid to move in with me because of the custody issue. She doesn’t have anyone other than me to help her as all her family is in California and her mother cannot be depended upon to help her. How should she proceed?


#2

Not an attorney

I can’t tell you how she should proceed but I can tell you some of the legal implications I’m aware of:

  1. Affairs usually have little impact on child custody cases unless the paramour is a threat to the children (child molester, drug addict, etc.)

  2. It’s possible if she moves in with you that her children would not be allowed to live there. It’s not unusual for anti-cohabitation or “no over-night guests” clauses to be added to separation agreements. These could prevent her from bringing the children there to live until you two were married.

  3. You are opening yourself up for Criminal Conversation and Alienation of Affection lawsuits. Though it sounds like he doesn’t have the money to pursue either torte, they could still be used as leverage against her in asset distribution.

  4. It sounds like he is the dependent spouse, so she would end up paying post separation support and alimony.


#3

It sounds like she needs to plan to move out and to prepare to litigate her child custody claim if necessary. It’s impossible for me to give her advice about whether the affair will impact the process without a consultation. She should consider seeing an attorney in her area to discuss her situation in detail and determine her different options for moving forward.