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Cheating Parents: The Impact of Adultery on Custody and Access

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This is Khloe and Tristan Thompson’s (Cavalier star’s) first baby together. The pair have been dating for more than a year.

As if the birth of a new Kardashian baby wasn’t big enough news, her birth coincided with news that Tristan cheated on Khloe in October 2017, when she was 3 months pregnant. TMZ reported that Tristan was caught making out with and ‘motorboating’ two women at a hookah lounge. TMZ further reported that Tristan was seen taking a woman back to his New York City hotel room just FIVE DAYS AGO!

Given the birth of their baby, we can’t help but wonder whether Tristan’s adulterous ways could have any impact on his relationship with his daughter.

If Khloe and Tristan lived in Ontario, the answer would generally be no – adultery would not have a significant impact on child custody or access. Generally, parents are not entitled to an advantage with respect to child custody or access because of adultery.

As per the Section 24(3) of the Children’s Law Reform Act, a parent’s past conduct is considered relevant for the purposes of dealing with custody and/or access issues only if it impacts that person’s ability to act as a parent.  As such, having an affair is not grounds enough for a parent to lose custody or access to their children.

It is important to note that if the parent who committed adultery is planning to build a relationship with the third party (i.e. if Tristan were to start dating any of the women he has supposedly had adulterous relations with), this may impact his/her custody and/or access to the children from their previous relationship. For example, if a parent’s new spouse/partner intends to move in with them and their children immediately after the separation, this may pose a problem (as exposing children to this type of trauma may be insensitive and not in their best interests).

Like with all custody and access determinations, the best interests of the children are paramount. In order for a parent to have custody and/or access to their children, they must be able to demonstrate that they are able to put their child’s needs and interests ahead of their own desires.

This sounds like pretty good news for Tristan – his cheating ways (generally) will not get in the way of his relationship with his daughter.

Andrew Feldstein The Feldstein Family Law Group (FFLG) is one the largest family law firms that practices Family Law exclusively in Greater Toronto, with 10 lawyers and counting. The boutique law firm has won the Top Choice Award for Family Law™ in Toronto for the past eleven years (2007 to 2018 inclusive). Managing Partner Andrew Feldstein has been practicing family law for more than 20 years and frequently comments on Family Law issues through the media. The Feldstein Family Law Group offers vast written, video, and media resources on its website to those who find that they need to end their relationship.