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Young Mothers Beware: An Affair Can Cost You Custody

Custody determinations in Mississippi are governed by the twelve “Albright Factors.” Among these factors are “moral fitness” and the “willingness and capacity to provide primary care.” There is little question that the simple fact of an affair by a Mother does not mean she will lose custody. Our courts have clearly stated that it is not the purpose of our laws or courts to “punish adultery, [but] it is a factor in awarding custody of minor children.” While all factors must be taken into consideration, an affair can cost a young mother custody where the affair interferes with her willingness or capacity to care for the children.
The recent case of Montgomery v. Montgomery, NO. 2008-CA-00641-COA (Decided Sept. 29, 2009) emphasizes that point. In that case, the young mother of four was spending so much time on the telephone and away from her children that the father was forced to assume the primary care of the children. Later, she left the marital home and left the children with the father. Again, all of the 12 factors are important and the final criteria is the best interests of the children, but persons desiring custody must take care that their affair does not take them away from the primary obligation to care for the children.