When you’ve gotten used to your routines, any change can be a challenge. Dramatic life changes might have their share of difficulty. You may be worried you’re making a mistake or that there will be negative repercussions. Changing your life means accepting that you aren’t sure what will happen in the future. And changing your life following a divorce can have its own complications.
After a divorce, life changes have the potential to affect the agreements you’ve established with your ex-spouse. This can add to the stress you’re already experiencing. If you have a new relationship, your familial dynamics can become complicated, especially if children are involved. Many women who move on from their marriage are worried that their decisions will negatively impact a child custody agreement.
There are a number of factors that might cause a change in custody agreement. If you move to a new place, this might cause the current arrangement to come under review. Local moves are less likely to provoke a change. But if you’re moving a significant distance, the original custody agreement may become strained. Bringing another person into the arrangement adds variables that make change likely.
It’s important to move on after a marriage ends. But you need to give careful consideration to big life decisions. If you intend to move in with a new person, consider the impact it may have on your custody arrangement. You need to have a realistic expectation of your ex-spouse’s reaction. If they react poorly, they may seek a reevaluation of the custody arrangement. What’s worse is that, depending on the circumstances, a judge may believe they have grounds to do so.
There is no legal issue barring you from cohabitating with a new person. No state law says that your parenting is questionable if you move on after a divorce. The simple act of having a serious boyfriend is not enough to call your parenting into question. No state law says you aren’t allowed to move in with a new person. Courts are prepared to adapt to these new life circumstances.
So simply living with your boyfriend isn’t enough to change the custody. If the custody arrangement comes under review, it will be because of other changes associated with the new living circumstances.
Unless you and your ex crafted your custody agreement together, decisions about child custody are always made by the court. The court is charged with making the choice that is in the best interests of the child. The child will live in whatever place will provide the best care and safety.
In the majority of cases, the question is about safety and health. The court decides where the child will get the best treatment. Quality of life might be a factor as well. Courts show favor to living areas with better-quality schools.
When you move in with your boyfriend, you introduce another party to the custody question. The court will revise their view of the situation based on information about your boyfriend. They’ll consider where he lives, his lifestyle, and how he acts. As long as no glaring issues exist, the court probably won’t make a major custody change. But if the child’s emotional or physical well-being is threatened, the court will have to act.
The most important thing to remember is that the court is focused on the child. Their only priority is to make sure the child is brought up in the safest, most caring environment possible. If your household was considered the safest environment prior to the change, and your boyfriend poses no threat to your child, the court will continue to see your household as the safest environment.
Your ex-spouse may ask the court to review the custody arrangements following the change. However, this doesn’t mean that the court will make any significant changes. You’re more likely to be challenged for moving any kind of distance than for living with someone else.
One thing that can help is to have your boyfriend move into your current residence, rather than you moving into your boyfriend’s. This way, your child doesn’t have any abrupt changes in their living environment. They’ll stay in the same school district and home. The only real change will be the addition of another person in the household.
This solution is often better for the child than forcing them into a move. It also takes away most of the complaints your ex-spouse could feasibly make. As long as the child’s life is not disrupted, the court won’t cause disruption by changing your custody arrangement.
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