Women cheating on their husbands has been on the rise in Singapore in recent years so it’s not surprising that one of the most frequently asked questions our divorce lawyers hear in our practice is “Will cheating affect my divorce case?”
Where adultery is the cause of marriage termination, people have a tendency to assume that the faithful spouse holds all the advantages in the divorce proceedings. In fact, this is not correct in the majority of cases. In this article, we look at the impact that Adultery can have on a divorce proceeding.
A woman`s adultery and custody of the children
As long as the cheating wife has been a good mother and not exposed her children to the extra-marital relationship or exposed them to inappropriate situations, adultery will generally not play a role in determining, which parent is given custodial rights to the children. Ultimately, the child`s welfare principle comes into play in determining the child`s custody, care and control issues.
Adultery and assets
As in most divorce cases, where adultery has been committed by one of the persons in the marriage, it should not play a role in determining the separation of assets.
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Effects of adultery on the negotiating table
The discovery of adultery and the emotions accompanied with it are a ticking time bomb waiting to explode at the negotiation table. In these situations, the financial costs of conflict can be significantly higher. Whilst adultery may not play a role in determining the custody of the children or distribution of assets, it is important that your divorce lawyer have the necessary negotiation / mediation skills to avoid the emotions of a lengthy and costly courtroom battle.
The Child`s Welfare Principle
When making custody-related decisions, the court holds the best interests of the child as the first and paramount consideration. The best interests of the child are measured by their moral and religious welfare, physical well-being, ties of affection, happiness, comfort and security. The courts will apply the welfare principle to the facts of the case. Factors considered in determining welfare of the child are not exhaustive and include:
- the wishes expressed by the child
- parental responsibilities demonstrated by each of the child’s parents
- a violence order (PPO) that applies to the child or a member of the child’s family
- the need to protect the child from physical or psychological abuse (abuse, ill-treatment, violence)
- the maturity, sex, background and the need to maintain a connection with the lifestyle, culture and traditions of the child
- the effect of separation from either of his or her parents or any other person with whom he or she has been living (eg; grandparents)