I am considering moving in with my girlfriend, though I’m in the middle of a child custody case.
We are considering moving in together to afford a bigger house for my children.
Would moving in with my girlfriend greatly affect the outcome of my child custody case?
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.
Members of a household are relevant in a child custody matter. These individuals may be called as witnesses, may be evaluated, and may otherwise be a part of the court process.
Parties are required to submit an affidavit at the beginning of their custody case, listing all household members and whether those individuals have had certain specific criminal issues, at least where I practice.
Beyond that, if no one makes an issue of a household member, then it is not generally an issue. However, if there are issues or allegations regarding such household members, then there can be wide ranging ramifications.
For example, if there are drug, alcohol, mental health, or criminal issues with any household member, then this can have a big impact on custody. How well a child gets along with a household member may also play a part in a custody determination.
Also relevant to the case is whether that person performs parental duties (and the appropriateness of doing so) such as feeding, bathing, providing transportation, etc.
The bottom line is that it may be helpful or harmful to a case depending upon how these factors play out in the particular case. It is a fact-specific inquiry.
For example, if the household member provides needed support while the parent is at work (for example, picking a child up from a bus stop or taking a child to soccer practice), this can be a benefit in a case.
On the other hand, a household member with problems (such as a current or prior drug problem) can create big issues in a case for a parent involved in a custody dispute.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.