Starting a new relationship after a divorce or serious breakup is not always easy. After years of monogamy, becoming a parent, and living an uneventful life, getting back into the dating game is daunting. While exploring new relationships is a good way to boost self-esteem and establish new emotional bonds, dating during a custody dispute is not always a good idea. No matter what your relationship with your ex is like or how calm he or she seems about your new social life, starting a new relationship can quickly lead to trouble. Understanding why dating during a custody battle is a big mistake can increase your chances of making the best decision for your unique situation.
Raises Doubts About Your Priorities
The best interests of the child are of primary importance when child custody is being decided. Both parents must explain why they feel their child should remain with them and convince each other or the court that their custody proposal is best for the child. When dating becomes part of the equation, the other party may begin questioning your dedication to your child and obtaining custody. Dating prior to custody and visitation being decided creates the impression that your new relationship is more important to you than your case. While that is not necessarily true, your former partner or his or her attorney may attempt to convince the court that you value romance more than your kids.
Places the Child at Risk
Social media and the news in general are filled with stories about children being harmed or killed by their parent’s new boyfriend or girlfriend. Fear over a child’s safety may prompt your former partner to investigate your new significant other’s background. Once the focus shifts from you and your reasons for wanting custody to the new person in your life, things can become complicated. If the new significant other has any type of questionable background or is accused of being a bad influence on you, then your former partner may argue that this new person is placing the child at risk.
Antagonizes Your Ex
An ex-spouse who is already upset about the divorce and angry that a custody battle is even occurring is probably not going to be thrilled about your new relationship. Depending on your relationship, your former partner may even view your new boyfriend or girlfriend as an insult or attempt to hurt your ex. An angry ex may find ways to slow or stall the custody process by questioning the new person or even accusing you of starting the relationship prior to the separation or divorce. Disproving your ex’s claims can add months to your legal battle, costing both parties a significant amount of money.
Before starting a new relationship, or after a relationship has become serious, discuss your situation with a skilled divorce attorney. An attorney with experience dealing with family law disputes can help you decide how to handle your decision to pursue a new relationship or explain why waiting might be best. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum has successfully helped clients at all stages of the divorce process. Our attorneys are ready to stand by your side in court and help you obtain the settlement you desire. Contact us today to schedule a private consultation at one of our four Atlanta, Georgia locations.