ADF Helps Protect Three Children from Demands of Unfaithful Military Father Who Left Wife for Boyfriend

Excerpted from ADF Helps Protect Three Children from Demands of Unfaithful Military Father Who Left Wife for Boyfriend, published Mar 2, 2007, by Alliance Defense Fund:

Court denies father’s appeal for boyfriend to stay overnight while children visiting and for permission to show affection with boyfriend in children’s presence

An active duty military officer who left his wife to pursue sexual relationships with other men failed in his appeal to have certain visitation restrictions to his three children dropped Tuesday.

The mother, represented by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund and the Alexandria law firm Gannon & Cottrell, P.C., the lead attorneys in the case, opposed the father’s request to be allowed overnight stays with his three children while his boyfriend is present. She also objected to her former husband’s request that he be allowed to openly display affection with his boyfriend in front of the children.

“The interests of children far outweigh a man’s desire to be selfish,” said ADF Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt. “We are talking about a man who repeatedly cheated on his wife to engage in sexual acts with other men and then left her for one of those men. This father and his attorneys with Lambda Legal then decided to take it a step further and demand that very minimal and common visitation restrictions designed to protect the children be dropped. There’s no doubt the Court of Appeal did the right thing in refusing this demand.”

The couple divorced in 2004 after the wife discovered that her husband had been secretly engaging in sex with other men while at the same time remained sexually active with her. The trial court awarded custody to the mother and ordered that no companion with whom the father is in a sexual relationship could spend the night while the children are visiting him. The court also ruled that he could not engage in public displays of affection with third parties in front of the children.

The father appealed the judge’s decision but was unsuccessful in having the restrictions dropped. The Court of Appeals wrote, “We hold that the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in imposing visitation restrictions…. The father argues that restrictions can only be placed on visitation if there has been a showing of harm or a specific danger of harm to the children. This contention is not supported by Virginia case law.”

The Court of Appeals refused the father’s request to overturn Virginia’s sodomy statute and affirmed the trial court’s authority to protect children from exposure to the father’s sexual relationships with other men.

The full text of the opinion issued in the case J.R.V. v. A.O.V. can be read at

This article was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 10:54 pm and is filed under 01 - Gay, Born that Way?, Court Decisions & Judges, Custody, Down Low, Military, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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