Parental Infidelity and the “No-Harm” Rule in Custody Litigation

The rules in the courtroom are ever changing and it is very crucial for you to understand those cases that are governing your future.  The “No-Harm” Rule started in a few courts but now has expanded from coast to coast.

“When a marriage dissolves, there are often disputes over which parent should be awarded custody of the child or children. In those custody disputes, which are often bifurcated from the rest of the divorce litigation and may be the only unsettled issue remaining in the divorce case, the non-adulterous party sometimes attempts to introduce evidence of the infidelity of the other parent-spouse. Historically, such evidence was admitted because the law presumed that parental infidelity caused harm to children. 2 However, that presumption has been abandoned by most American courts. Today, most American courts refuse to admit evidence of parental infidelity in custody hearings or trials unless there is proof that the parent’s infidelity caused harm to the child. 3 This refusal to admit evidence, herein called the “no-harm” rule or assumption, demonstrates a strong substantive policy that favors avoiding litigation concerning matters of sexual lifestyle and morality over examining evidence concerning the best interests of the child.”

Lynn D Wardle

Fall 2002

Though this court precedent has closed some avenues in custody litigation it is important to speak with your lawyer in your case to understand what can, and needs to, be done in your case.  Here at Advanced Surveillance Group we can offer a full range of services not only in the surveillance arena.  One crucial opening the “No-Harm” Rule leaves behind is the character of the other person involved.  We offer a full range of background investigations that may offer you an insight into whether or not those individuals past would lead the court to view your children as being in harm.

For more details or to discuss background screening options with one of our highly trained associates feel free to contact us at 888-677-9700.