While there are no Colorado laws against cohabitation after a divorce, choosing to do this too soon can influence the strength of your position in a custody dispute. Remember, a Colorado family law judge is only looking to do what is in the best interests of the children, and will look to establish custodial rights based on who will provide the children with a nurturing and stable environment. Your choice in a new partner may seem like a fresh start, but it could have an impact on your Colorado child custody case. This is particularly true when parenting time is not yet resolved.
Clearly, no Colorado Springs custody judge will deny a parent the right to a new relationship, but the nature of this relationship can make a difference in your custody position. In the aftermath of a divorce, children need stability. Having a parent moving from one relationship into another is not usually good for children. Not only is this new adult unfamiliar to the children, he or she may already have their own children in the household, and these children may not be positive role models on your children. There could also be some other surprises. If one parent moves in with a new love interest, their children could be exposed to substance abuse, radical parenting styles, insufficient sleeping space, and many other negative influences. For example, a new partner may have a checkered past, or even a criminal record.
Taking the time to get to know someone well before cohabitation will look much better to a Colorado child custody judge. Even waiting to introduce the children to this person is strongly advised, as it will keep the subject from coming up in a child custody dispute. Remember, it is possible to choose a partner who will cause you to lose custody of your Colorado Springs children, so the best course of action is to move slowly and carefully.
Please request a free consult with the Colorado Springs custody lawyers at Marrison Law. We will help you make the right decisions to ensure your parenting plan is not impacted by the choices you make in a new relationship.