When Orange County, California, residents talk about legal issues involving family, they often refer to divorce, which is the most common family law issue. Many people consider divorce a complex process involving different issues, such as property division, alimony or spousal support and if children are involved, child support and child custody issues are likely to arise.
People currently in the middle of the divorce process or those who just signed a divorce agreement, may be wondering if dating or overnight guests are a bad idea immediately following a divorce; the answer is yes. Dating or cohabitating is normal adult behavior but it can affect the divorce process and even damage the child-parent relationship, already fragile from the divorce.
Children, regardless of age, do understand the concept of sex. When a new person comes into the house as a parental love interest, children might already have an idea about what is happening. Seeing their mother or father with someone else in their home can be traumatizing for children whose parents recently separated.
If dating turns into cohabitating, it may legally effect existing child custody arrangements. For example, if the cohabitating parent does not disclose the new living arrangement with the other parent and the children spend time with this new love interest, the other parent may be angry once he or she finds out about the change. This anger can refuel another child custody dispute that was thought to be settled.
The best legal advice is to be patient and wait for the right time to date or cohabitate. Questions regarding family law issues and other related concerns can be addressed to a Riverside County attorney. Child custody issues can be settled through mediation to avoid litigation. Child custody agreements must always benefit the best interests of the child for the best possible outcome of the divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, "How overnight dates could seriously damage your custody case," Lenore Skonal, Mar. 10, 2014