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Child Custody Disputes: Meeting an ex-Spouse’s New Partner

Posted on in Divorce

burr ridge divorce lawyerDivorce and child custody disputes can be overwhelming and transformative for a child. Change can be stressful for all, especially for a child with living arrangements divided between two households. When a child's parent begins to date, that can further intensify the child's stress. If the parent wants to introduce the child to the new partner, that can also cause a contentious rift with the other parent. However, if not stipulated in the parenting plan, a disputing parent may have little recourse in dictating whether an ex-spouse's associates become acquainted with the child. 

A parenting plan is predicated on the best interest of the child.  A child custody attorney can help find a viable solution for disputes through mediation or post-decree modifications.

Six Prevailing Concerns 

If the court finds validity in a dispute, the court will implement a post-decree modification into the parenting plan. Changes in a parenting plan must be contingent on the best interest of the child rather than the emotional pride and whims of a parent. Family law attorneys understand that the emotional stress endured by some children of divorce can be traumatic with long-term ramifications. When an unknown individual is about to enter a child’s life, a disputing parent’s concern is justifiable. Some concerns can include:

  1. A parent may feel an introduction between the child and the ex-spouse’s new partner will be detrimental to the child’s emotional and psychological well-being.

  2. A parent may demand to meet the ex-spouse’s new partner before approving the child to be introduced.

  3. A parent may wish to prohibit the ex-spouse’s partner from spending the night during the child’s overnight stay.

  4. A parent may disapprove of the ex-spouse’s partner’s lifestyle, educational background, religious beliefs, family life, or career.

  5. A parent may wish to amend the parenting plan to include a stipulation that prevents the child from associating with any future partners of the ex-spouse.

Six Dating Tips for those with Joint Custody        

If post-decree modifications are not an option, a mediator may be able to help contesting parents reach a compromising agreement. The short and long-term goal is to create a stable environment for the child. A child therapist might also help with the child adapting to new circumstances. Some logical tips could include:

  1. Keep dating time outside of parenting time.

  2. Create a six-month or yearlong timeframe before introducing a new partner to the child.

  3. Refrain from introducing a child to several new serial partners.

  4. Keep initial encounters fun and timely, such as a movie or lunch date.

  5. Abstain from inviting a partner to sleep over during overnight parenting time.

  6. Keep decision-making among the parents and not their partners.

Contact a Dupage County Family and Divorce Lawyer

At Pesce Law Group P.C., we are a full-service family law and divorce firm proficient in mediation and post-decree modifications.  We are sensitive to the needs of our clients, and we work diligently to find favorable solutions. For a free consultation, contact a Burr Ridge child custody lawyer at 630-230-1002.

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K602.10

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/05/20/introducing-kids-your-first-love-after-divorce/

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