New Relationship: How Does It Impact Child Custody?

Are you entertaining someone new? While you’re in the process of healing, it may be important to note that dating someone while the divorce process is still going on might not help you in more ways than one. In fact, it can affect a huge part of the judge’s decision that concerns the division of your assets, payment of liabilities and even child care and custody. You may think that finding someone new can help you move on from the tragic relationship you once were, but a judge may think otherwise.

Legally, courts decide on child custody issues with the children’s best interest in mind. They consider all possible parenting options available that will help the child grow into a responsible individual, despite the failed marriage of his or her parents. To ensure that the child’s best interest is always protected, the court looks into several factors that may affect the child’s growth. As part of the process, the court will also consider the people who will be spending a significant amount of quality time with the child or children – and that includes anyone you are dating at this time.

Some spouses get furious[i] when they find out that their former partner is trying to move on; thus, they go mud-slinging on the new person you’re dating. Your responsible new partner may be tainted with a reputation as if they are someone who is nothing close to being responsible or loving. If your former spouse can establish such reputation in court, this might affect how the judge will look at you and the choices that you make in life; thus, they could put limitations on visitation rights, child support and everything that is covered by your child custody case.

In some areas in Canada, children are allowed to make a statement about how they feel about the battle between their parents. They may also express their desire to be with one parent over and the other. The court strongly considers the preference of the children, because they believe it will help them grow more if they are with the parent they feel closest to. The rebound relationship you are into may also make it seem like the situation you are offering the children are only temporary, and that opposes the very nature of putting the kids first.

If you can’t help yourself but fall in love with someone new, perhaps the trick is to make sure that you choose the right one. However, divorce lawyers in Canada will always remind you that if you can hold things off until after the divorce is final, it will be doing yourself a lot of help.