This is the next post in my series on dating during a divorce in Melbourne, Florida. My last article discussed whether one can move in a boyfriend or girlfriend during a divorce. It is important to understand that the Court will allow someone to move in with a new significant other but, if that person does not contribute financially, then it may impact the Judge’s final financial rulings. It is best to speak with a family law attorney before making such decisions. In this article I will discuss another important topic – how dating can impact the child custody portion of your case. If you have questions then contact my office to speak with a lawyer.
It is important to understand that a Court’s sole concern in a custody matter is the best interests of the child. If a parent does anything that jeopardizes those interests then the Court will take action. Generally speaking, a Court will not be overly concerned with who a parent is dating. If, however, the individual has a questionable background then issues may arise. If, for example, one is dating a person who has a criminal record, drug addiction, or anger problems then the Judge will likely be more inclined to award primary custody (known as “time share” in Florida) to the other parent. The more time the child spends in the presence of such a person then the more likely the Court would be to issue such a ruling. This is why it is crucial that you truly get to know someone, and understand their history, before introducing them to your child or children.
There are also practical matters to consider when dating during a divorce. It is common for a soon to be ex to have feelings of anger over the pending divorce. They may also have feelings of jealousy as well as a desire to not have a new adult in the presence of their children. While one may not be doing anything wrong by introducing their children to a new boyfriend or girlfriend, it is important to remember that doing so may very well cause tension with your soon to be former spouse. Such tension can lead to problems in the case and delay a final resolution of the matter. By being considerate of the situation, and thinking ahead, such tension can be avoided.
Contact my office today if you have questions regarding your situation. As a Melbourne attorney I am familiar with such situations and it is my goal to help you move on with your life as quickly as possible. Our office also services clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.