Divorce disrupts your life but, fortunately, life goes on afterward full of new promise and possibility. As things change, you need to adjust your child custody arrangements accordingly. Parenting agreements grow and change over time and that’s a good thing! One thing to keep in mind is how new relationships can affect child custody. So what happens when either you or your former spouse gets serious with someone new? It’s not always clear whether a new relationship will help or hinder a parent in a child custody case. However, you can be proactive and make sure your new relationship doesn’t affect the time you’ll get to spend with your child.
Remember That Mothers Don’t Automatically Gain Custody
At one point in time, the Huffington Post says that it was always assumed that the mother would get full custody of the children during the divorce proceedings. But, as times change, so do the ways that child custody is awarded. So, if a mother goes into custody hearings and mediations assuming she’ll get full custody, she may be in for a surprise. And if the father is the one in the new relationship, that may not be entirely detrimental for getting joint physical or joint legal custody. Regardless of which parent is in the new relationship, keep in mind that anything can be used against you in the custody case, even a private text message between you and your partner, that is negative towards your ex-spouse.
Keep Your Child’s Schedule the Same
If you’re getting divorced and there are children involved, remember that your child’s (or children’s) needs should be one of the most important things in your life. Psychology Today says that introducing your child to your new partner is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and experts recommend that you only introduce your child to a serious partner that you’ve been dating for a few months. If you do start a new relationship during a custody hearing, be sure to keep your child’s schedule the same. Keep your pizza-and-Disney movies routine on Saturdays, or other regular time together. Don’t constantly change this to go out with your new partner. From a judge’s perspective, they may consider this behavior to mean you don’t have your child’s best interest at heart and would give custody to your former spouse.
When the Relationship Started
Believe it or not, some judges will take into consideration when your new relationship started. FreeAdvice Legal says that extramarital affairs can negatively affect the likelihood of you getting full or equal custody of your kid(s). The main thing they will consider is whether the affair adversely affected the child’s well-being. However, the affair itself isn’t necessarily the sole reason that a judge will award custody to the other parent. When it comes to being in a new relationship during a custody hearing, remember to prioritize your child’s best interests. And while you may feel some form of anger and hostility towards your ex-spouse, don’t let it show, as much as possible, to make sure you can have the most amount of time with your child. PHOTO: Pexels / CC0 Public Domain