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Court modifies child custody over father's porn habits

Child custody is something that many divorced parents in New York have to come to a decision on. As a recent case shows, many things can come into play when determining or altering a custody agreement.

Parental fitness came into question in a recent state appellate court decision. A former couple's dispute over child custody focused on a father's sexual habits and lifestyle. An appellate court judge overturned a lower court's ruling and awarded the mother primary custody of their two children.

The parents were divorced after a 17-year marriage. The wife told the court she discovered her husband's pornography habits following an investigation of the couple's personal computer and credit card histories.

Despite repeated promises to end the practice, the husband admitted that he continued to visit adult porn sites. The wife filed for divorce after her spouse admitted having a sexual liaison with a man he met on a website.

The husband told the appellate court that he used the Internet to set up meetings with a woman, a man and a couple, but denied ever having sex with any of them. The man stated that he felt he had done nothing wrong.

A judge declared the ex-husband's long-term "uncontrolled problem" with pornography and extramarital affairs influenced the man's role as a fit parent. The judge overturned a circuit court judge's decision to allow the man to have custody of his children, ages 7 and 12 at the time of their parents' divorce.

The appellate court said the circuit court had not considered that the mother had been the children's main caregiver or that the father was sexually promiscuous.

In the appellate judge's final decision, he reprimanded the ex-husband for trying to deny or downplay his issues with pornography and random sexual relationships.

Source: knoxnews.com, "Court: Morristown dad denied custody over porn issues," Jamie Satterfield, Aug. 31, 2011

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