All Things Family Law

Discussion of all things related to family law from an Indiana divorce attorney.

This blog provides general family law and divorce law information. If you have a specific issue or case you need assistance with please contact me directly. 

Custody - Do cheating and homosexuality make you a bad parent?

Do infidelity and homosexuality somehow make you a "bad parent"? Different people will have different answers. I can't begin to answer that question. Luckily, today the Indiana Court of Appeals published a decision discussing how these issues effect a custody case.

In finding for custody in favor of the Father, the Court of Appeals noted that the trial court relied on not only "Mother’s homosexuality but also to her infidelity and questionable judgment by interacting with individuals who may affect the children’s best interests, and there was evidence that would support the award of custody to Father regardless of any evidence of Mother’s homosexuality."

The Court went on to describe the evidence supporting the order in favor of Father:

The evidence from the dissolution hearings reveals that Mother began having extramarital affairs in 2006, including relationships with individuals who had been convicted of drug-related offenses. Mother was planning on getting a house with her current girlfriend, who Mother had supervised when she was on probation from cocaine-related convictions and who was unemployed, was still married, and had three children. Various witnesses testified that Father was devoted to his children, played with them, and had made them his priority.

Other witness testimony also strongly supported the the order in favor of Father.

Okay. That is interesting, but didn't answer the question. The question was "does infidelity and homosexuality make you a bad parent?" The Indiana Court of Appeals decision issued today suggests that homosexuality, in and of itself, is not a basis with which to decide custody. This is supported by other Indiana cases. So the answer is - no, homosexuality does not make you a bad parent.

However, as to infidelity, I think the answer is different. If it is accompanied by other instances of poor judgment and - this is important - is part of a history showing risky conduct of the parent, infidelity could be relevant in a custody determination.

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