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A parent’s new romantic partner can complicate custody plans

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2018 | Alimony/Spousal Support |

After a divorce, many Florida parents don’t expect to stay single forever. Even if the marriage didn’t end because they fell in love with someone else, it could still happen during or soon after the split.

Romance can be a great step forward from a difficult marriage, but it can also have several implications for custody and visitation. The other parent might not be comfortable with their child spending time with a stranger. Even if one parent trusts someone new, this could introduce conflict. Keep in mind that custody issues revolve around the well-being of the child.

While the custody plan is still tentative, it may be a good idea to keep dating separate from family life. Your child will likely experience stress during this transition. Instead of bringing a new significant other into the home, it might be better to help your child deal with one new family dynamic at a time. You may want to meet your partner in public or at their home until the time is right to introduce your child.

It’s never a good idea to hide anything in a divorce, so parents should be honest if they have a new significant other in their life. Because this person could play a big role in the parent’s household and life, the court will have to ensure that they are not a danger to the child. If the partner has a history of addiction, abuse or crime, they could impact the final custody decision.

In many cases, a parent may have genuine concerns about their ex’s dating behavior and their child’s health. However, jealousy and bitterness can also creep into the child custody debate. A parent may use child custody as an excuse to stop their ex from finding love again.

Custody conversations may become complicated if one parent is dating. Your attorney can further discuss how to use the custody agreement to handle dating as a divorced parent.