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Avoid cohabitation too soon in a new relationship.

New relationships are a part of life. But they can influence the relative strength of your child custody position. Fair or unfair, your choice in a new mate can help or hurt your custody case!

Many custody problems arise when one parent leaves another for a new paramour. The one parent often perceives this as a marital or relationship issue, and will simply oppose the new person on those grounds alone. This knee jerk reaction to the new lover or significant other can cause problems for both parties in the custody case. Jealous reactions have been known to manifest themselves as childish behavior and even harassing behavior.

If you are already separated, and then meet someone new, the other parent will again often oppose the new partner. This is particularly true where the relationship / divorce issues still have not been resolved.

Obviously no custody court is going to deny a parent a new paramour or spouse. But the how, when, and where of the new relationship can influence your custody position. Again think stability.

Moving out of one relationship and directly into another is not considered best for the children. Often lawyers see clients who have left one person and moved in directly with another, to start their "new" relationship. This implicates stability, and may expose the child to an adult influence that is not well known to either of the child's parents.

A good example is where a man leaves his wife, and three weeks later moves in with a coworker, who is a single mom with two kids of her own. While the ex wife to be may be very upset in general about the relationship and loss of a husband, she will have plenty of logical and sound arguments for the custody courts. She will argue that dad hardly knows the new woman in any meaningful way, that the quick move was disruptive to the children. Further the "new children" add additional uncertainty. What if one turns out to be a behavioral nightmare and routinely bullies the other kids in the household?

Also, getting to know the new person very well, before cohabitation can prevent a lot of surprises. We have seen cases where the new paramour is later found to have a significant criminal record, or is even a registered sex offender, and that will hurt your custody case.

Courts will look to see if you checked the new person out carefully, and entered your new relationship with your children's best interest at heart. It is possible to choose a partner who will cause you to lose your custody! So carefully and slowly entering into the new relationship is your best course of action. Taking time before cohabitation will show the court that it is about the children not the new paramour.

In summary, if possible, finding a way to slowly work a new person into the child's life will maximize your position in a custody case. Cohabitation too soon is never a good idea.

Did you know that it is possible to find an inexpensive custody attorney?
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TIP #5 - Find and keep stability in all aspects of your life.


Use our Free Child Custody resources to learn more. Each article or vignette was prepared by an attorney, and explains some general strategies and ideas for parents with custody issues. Of course all 50 states have different laws and ways of applying the principles of child custody, so you should familiarize yourself with your state's particular custody laws and rules.

10 ways to better your chances of getting custody.

Considering a Custody Case? Call (877) 257-9050 to Talk to an Attorney

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Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (1997) (original text)







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