Handling a Spouse’s New “Friend” in a Child Custody Matter

Divorce ain’t easy. Especially when the person you have shared a marital bed with decides to shack up with someone else and there are issues of child custody. Whether it happens before the ink on your Settlement Agreement is dry, or months (sometimes even years) down the road, it usually stings pretty bad.

Child Custody Laws Florida Follows

People come to me all the time demanding “primary custody” of their children because they are uncomfortable with (and that’s putting it nicely and removing all expletives) their kids being around their ex’s new flame. To begin, effective October 1, 2008, there is no longer a primary residential parent and secondary residential parent nor does the term “custody” exist under Florida Law.  Further, shared parental responsibility is now the accepted standard and the Court simply isn’t going to order a party to stay single. Remember that little inalienable right, “to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Yeah, Judges take that one pretty seriously.

child custodySo unless your ex and Mr. or Miss Flavor of the Month are putting your child at risk or engaging in immoral conduct that has had an adverse effect on your child custody situation, you’re not going to get very far. Bottom line: divorce is a huge change and the only way you are going to get through it is learning how to adapt to that change. Creating boundaries and discussing these issues with your co-parent can make a world of difference.

Feelings of jealousy or insecurity or even genuine concern for your child’s well-being when dealing with issues of child custody are totally normal.  To explore how to bridge the gap between you and your ex’s new “friend” or if there is reason for you to believe that this person truly is acting in a manner that is a detriment to your child, a qualified divorce attorney can be a perfect ally.


Tags: ,