This is because many states now have more relaxed legal attitudes toward living together.
While we can’t say that most judges are enthusiastic about granting custody to a parent who is part of an unmarried couple, judges will not necessarily deny custody to a parent solely because the parent lives with someone else, especially when the new relationship is stable and nurturing.
If you behave as though the judge were standing next to you each time you interact with the children or their mother, you will certainly avoid the pitfalls that will reduce your custody chances.
In reviewing the following list of things not to do, keep in mind the fact that children are wonderful mimics.
Best Interest Of The Child Standard To determine how not to behave during this process it is helpful to review the criteria used by the judge (“court”) to determine appropriate placement of the children.
The court is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the situation to determine what placement and parenting time is in the child’s best interest.
You should be aware prior to court proceedings that the court will evaluate your behavior in its entirety throughout the proceedings and always behave accordingly.
Just don't do it with the kids at home.” And in her opinion, it doesn’t matter how old they are.
Some of the considerations include but are not limited to: a) The length of time that the child has been under the actual care and control of any person other than a parent and the circumstances relevant thereto; b) the desires of the parents as to residence-agreements reached by the parents and submitted to the court are usually presumed to be in the child’s best interest; c) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests; d) the child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community; e) the willingness and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the other parent and to allow for a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent; f) any evidence or allegation of spousal abuse; g) any evidence or allegation of child abuse on this or any other child; h) whether either parent is required to register as a sex offender; i) whether a parent is residing with a person who is required to register as a sex offender; j) whether a parent has been convicted of abuse of a child; k) whether a parent is residing with a person who has been convicted of abuse of a child Watch Your Behavior Whether you are fighting to be the primary residential parent or for weekend visits with your children the evaluation process by the court will encompass all of your behavior.
In particular, expect your children’s mother to point out all negative behavior.
It’s the resounding answer to the question: Should you have a member of the opposite sex spend the night while you are divorcing, or even newly divorced?
“If there are children involved, overnight guests are a no-no,” says Kathy Stafford, 50, relationship coach and author of Relationship Remorse.