Plano parents involved in a child custody dispute may find themselves going through mediation to work out the problems. And when that doesn’t work, the case will be heard in court. Although there are many issues that can cause disagreements, a common one is one of the parents’ new partners.
Types of Child Custody Disputes Concerning an Ex-Spouse’s New Partner
A new partner can impact custody because courts always will act in a child’s best interests. This requires examining a child’s living situation, which may include a parent’s new partner. Of course, what is deemed in the child’s best interests isn’t based solely on an ex’s new partner. There are many other factors such as emotional/physical needs, parenting skills, history of abuse or violence, and so much more.
Not liking the ex’s new partner isn’t a valid reason to disagree on child custody. There must be a significant reason to believe it would be detrimental to the children to be exposed to this new partner. For instance, the relationship isn’t stable because they are constantly breaking up and getting back together. Or they display intimate conduct in front of the children. Other examples are abuse, use of illegal substances, a dangerous criminal history, or a bad influence.
How an Ex-Spouse’s New Partner May Impact a Child Custody Order
Some cases may stipulate that neither parent is to have an overnight guest if children are present in the home. This stipulation may end if the parent marries the new partner. But sometimes a remarriage may impact a custody order, and the court may reexamine the child’s best interests considering the new marriage.
Sometimes the disagreement is about minor issues. Let’s say the ex’s new partner smokes, and the child has asthma. A judge could order that the person doesn’t smoke in the child’s home or anywhere around the child.
In some cases, the court may decide to evaluate the ex’s partner in order to determine if the person would be harmful to the child. Or if the child is at least 12 years old, a court may allow his or her input regarding living arrangements. Of course, both of these aren’t necessarily sole determining factors. But they could carry some weight in deciding the matter.
The bottom line is that a parent can’t break a custody order because of a new partner. The only exception would be if the child is in danger. In this case, the parent would have to contact the authorities or child protection services. An emergency motion would need to be filed with the court requesting that visitation be suspended based on the child being in danger.
If you need help representing your rights when formulating a child custody agreement or enforcing or modifying an existing agreement because of your ex-spouse’s new partner, contact Warren & Migliaccio at (888) 584-9614 or fill out our online contact form to set up an appointment.