A divorce takes time. Some Illinois couples choose to separate first for a period of time before moving forward with ending the marriage. Over that course of time or following the divorce, a spouse may choose to start dating someone else. It is important for people seeking child custody to tread lightly in this area, as some experts say certain situations can damage your case.
A clinical psychologist in Illinois recalled a situation in which an ex-husband contested custody on the grounds that his ex-wife had not been truthful regarding a relationship. The woman had the man over at her house and spent weekends together, keeping company with the divorced couple’s children. As a result of the circumstances, the case was re-evaluated.
In some states, spending the night at someone’s home just three times is considered cohabitating, even if the nights are not consecutive. This can have serious repercussions for an ex-spouse, especially if there is an agreement that ties either child support or alimony to cohabitation. A partner in a Manhattan law firm noted that having a number of love interests go through a home can actually harm a child and therefore have an effect on any joint decision in regards to the children.
Parents who are trying to determine issues such as child custody or support should always enlist the help of an attorney. Seemingly uninvolved items such as entering into new relationships can have an effect on your right to spend time with your child, depending on your agreement. Both spouses should work with their own attorneys in order to come up with an agreement that is fair and sustainable.
Source: Huffington Post, “How Overnight Dates Could Seriously Damage Your Custody Case,” Lenore Skonal, March 10, 2014