If I move in with my girlfriend, what effects will it have on my child custody agreement and child support?
Can my ex-wife use this against me to modify our existing arrangements?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Visitation is rarely denied as it is against its public policy to limit or destroy the relationship between parent and child. The standard followed relating to decisions regarding the children is known as the “best interest of the child standard.” The best interest of the child is determined by a number of factors and the circumstances surrounding the parties’ child and the potential caregivers.
Where I practice, your child custody agreement cannot be modified just because you are choosing to move in with your girlfriend, unless in doing so it will pose a threat to your child’s well being and safety, which is the court’s main concern.
With respect to child support, to the extent that a parent’s expenses are actually reduced by the voluntary contribution of a new spouse or companion who has no duty to support a child, the new increased financial resources available for child support may be taken into account in fashioning an award.
Since child support is always modifiable, by moving in with your girlfriend, this could create additional financial gains for you (i.e., contributions to joint living expenses by your girlfriend) that you did not have while you were living a lone.
As a result, it is in the court’s discretion whether to include such a contribution by your girlfriend when determining the amount of a child support order.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.