Child custody

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

Hi,
A friend of mine (a female) is married, and they have a 5 year old son. She has fallen in love with another man, and has told her husband this. He is threatening that, if she leaves him for this other man, he will get custody of their son, and she will not. She has not cheated on her husband, but I wonder if that even matters in court. She is afraid that her husband will try to prove otherwise, and she will lose her son. She works full time, makes about 30K a year, he works full time, and makes about 65K a year. He has deep psychological issues (OCD, anxiety, etc.), and refuses to get professional help. She is currently going to a therapist that specializes in his disorders, to try to be able to deal with him. What is the law regarding custody, falling in love with someone else, questions of infidelity, psychological issues, etc.? Thank you so much for your help!

State: 
Illinois

Answer: 

Yow, that’s a list. You might as well have asked “What are the laws regarding the crazy ways people with children act in love and life?” And of course, there is no simple answer. Child custody issues are usually decided as to what is in the best interest of the child these days. Affairs with or without infidelity are not the focus of divorce courts. It is usually the result of affairs that the courts must deal with. Psychological issues can be handled as “faults” in divorces, and will have a definite impact on custody awards as well. No one ever gets richer by divorcing and children are rarely better off living with one parent. Perhaps there are other, less permanent or dramatic steps that could be taken in this case such as counseling, mediation or even separation, before a divorce is implemented? When spouses cease to communicate, is when lawyers come into play and it gets expensive. – The Divorce.com Team

Wendy Jaffe and Divorce.com can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by Divorce.com, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to Divorce.com, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.

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