Couple drinking coffeeThis is the next article in my series on how dating during a Virginia divorce can impact the final resolution of your case. My last post discussed how spending money on a boyfriend or girlfriend can impact a divorce’s final asset distribution. It is important to understand that the Court will likely view lavish spending as “waste.” If you have questions about whether or not it is appropriate to expend funds then it is advised that you speak with a divorce attorney. In this article I will discuss the issue of how dating a new partner can impact the Court’s child custody determinations. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

The Court’s concern will always be for the best interests of the child in any matter involving one or more children. The judge will likely not care that a parent, who is going through a divorce, wants to resume their dating life. With that being said, the Court understands that people need to move on. This means that there are situations in which dating can potentially impact the Court’s final child custody determination and that there are other instances in which a new relationship will have no impact. I will discuss each of these instances in turn.

If you are exposing your children to someone who is unstable then the Court will likely be concerned. This means, for example, that it is not wise to expose your children to someone who drinks heavily, who uses narcotics, or who has a criminal record. Beyond these obvious issues, it is important that you not introduce your children to someone unless they are even tempered and able to deal with the situation in a responsible way. If you were to subject your child to someone who regularly speaks ill of the other parent, who causes conflict, or who cannot get along with the child then the Court would not view the situation as healthy. This, in turn, could hurt your chances at gaining primary or even joint child custody.

Again, the Court understands that individuals are likely to move on with their life while a divorce case is pending. If you introduce your child to a new significant other and that person is a stable influence then the Court will likely not see this as any type of a negative. To help ease the impact on the child it is often best to bring about the new person gradually. Your son or daughter is likely going through a difficult time due to the divorce. They do not need added stress or trauma. The new boyfriend or girlfriend should likely not spend more time with the child than what the child is likely to accept. While no two situations are the same, these are generally good rules to go by.

If you have questions about how dating will impact your case then contact my office today to speak with a divorce lawyer. As a family law attorney I regularly handle such matters and I am ready to assist you.