When a Marital Affair Results in a Pregnancy
Marital infidelity is often a leading factor in the decision to get a divorce. It destroys trust and can be hard for the injured spouse to forgive. Even when it does not cause the breakup of a marriage, it can have lasting ramifications. In addition to feelings of jealousy, hurt, and bitterness, it can result in lingering resentments between the couple that get brought up every time they get into a fight. The situation is made even more complex when a child is conceived as a result of an affair. The following outlines ramifications that are likely to occur, some of which are regardless of whether you remain in the marriage.
Children Born from Adultery
According to research conducted by the Institute of Family Studies, adultery occurs in roughly a quarter of all marriages. Men are almost two times more likely to have an affair than women and the odds of one occurring increase as they age. Cheating is the underlying cause cited in roughly one third of all divorces filed, but it does not always mean the end of your relationship. In over half of all cases, the couple is able to put the incident behind them and continue on with the marriage. Generally, counseling, patience, and plenty of time to heal is required. However, if an affair produces a child, the situation becomes more complex.
When a child is born outside the marriage, it has long ranging consequences. All children are entitled to have parents who play an active and engaged role in their lives and all parents are required to provide financial support for their children. Just because a parent may have been married to another at the time the child was born, it does not release them from this obligation.
Paternity Issues After an Affair
Establishing paternity is often a major issue when children are born of adulterous affairs. It also holds the key to obtaining child support. If a husband cheats but refuses to acknowledge or support a child, the mother may initiate paternity proceedings. This usually involves the following:
- A summons for the mother, infant, and alleged father to appear in court;
- DNA testing to determine if the father is a match;
- If the testing does prove paternity, child support will be ordered in the case.
If the wife of a cheating husband files for divorce and there are children from the marriage, the amount they are entitled to would likely be somewhat reduced due to the obligation to support another child. If the wife is the one who had an affair and got pregnant to another man, the Florida Department of Revenue advises that her husband will be considered the ‘legal father’ and could be obligated to pay support, even though the child is not his.
Let Us Help You Today
When a pregnancy results from an affair, Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Vanessa L. Prieto provides the legal guidance you need to ensure you are protected. To discuss the potential ramifications in your particular situation, call or contact our office online and request a confidential consultation today.