A parent’s relationship with his or her child is not the only factor judges consider when deciding on custody. In fact, other relationships in the parent’s life can impact custody, too, including anyone the parent may be dating. Many parents are discouraged to hear the courts consider such factors, as forming new relationships while the divorce is pending is not uncommon and may be beneficial to the parent’s well being. But it isn’t the fact that the parent has found someone new that can affect custody. It’s the potential impact that new relationship has on the child that carries the most weight.
Extramarital affairs, including those had while a divorce is pending, are not—in and of themselves—frowned on by the court in custody cases. But in the midst of a divorce, parents must take care to ensure their child continues to have a stable home environment. In the face of so much change, experts agree that introducing a new partner to your child during your divorce could potentially be harmful, especially if that partner were to move in with you. So, if you are seeking custody and have found a new partner, consider letting your child get to know him or her and the idea of a new parental figure. Inviting a new partner to move in with you or stay with you frequently could potentially cause distress to your child, and this could affect the judge’s custody decision.
It’s also important to keep in mind other factors, such as how much time you spend with your new partner; the nature of your relationship, and what you do together can affect custody as well. For example, is this new partner a bad influence on you? Is he or she into illegal or otherwise harmful activities? Do you fight often or talk bad about your spouse? Does he or she monopolize your parenting time?
The bottom line is every custody case is unique. A parent’s personal life and decision to enter into a new relationship is not enough to deny that parent custody alone. But, if that parent is falling short on his or her parenting responsibilities, creating an unsafe, hostile, or uncomfortable home environment for the child or otherwise putting the child in danger, that decision to date someone new can spell disaster in a custody case. Whether you are the spouse with a new partner or the spouse with concerns, you should speak with a New Jersey child custody attorney about your case. If you are seeking custody, it’s vital to work closely with an attorney to ensure your argument for custody is compelling and legally sound.
Are you facing a custody case and need legal help? The knowledgeable child custody attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC have the experience needed to defend your rights. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8404, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.