How Do Addictions Affect Child Custody Rulings?

baltimore divorce lawyerQuestion:

How does a sex addiction, or addictions in general, affect a child custody ruling?

I saw a therapist because of my frequent adultery and was diagnosed with a sex addiction.

My wife has vowed to keep me from the kids and is fighting for full custody because she says I am mentally ill and that my addiction will hurt the children.

I can’t imagine the courts deeming me unfit, but how do family law judges view addictions in custody battles?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Maryland divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Generally, child custody is governed by the best interest of the child standard. The court is charged with awarding custody in the manner that is in the best interest of the children.

Therefore, your wife will most likely make arguments that your “addiction” makes you a less suitable parent. You will have to craft a case that counters her assertion, while showing that you are a fit parent to have custody.

In some jurisdictions, adultery does potentially factor into an award of child custody. I say “potentially” in that there almost always has to be proof that the relationship has somehow impacted the children or the ability of the person engaged in such a relationship to parent the children. This kind of case could also generate an order that would prohibit certain interactions with specific individuals during any period of time that the minor children are in your custody.

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There may be some ways of limiting what evidence your wife could present to the court regarding your diagnosis and/or treatment. You may wish to hire an expert to discuss said diagnosis. Your case could also be greatly impacted by “moral” implications that may weigh heavier with one judge versus another.

You do have some damage control to do, and it involves some sophisticated and nuanced areas of family law.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a mens divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Baltimore, Maryland Divorce Lawyer Rebecca Ripley, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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