When going through a divorce, there are many changes and uncertainties. People wonder what they are allowed to do and what they cannot do until after the divorce becomes final. One of the most common issues involves romantic relationships with other people.
You might wonder how it might affect custody and visitation as well as child or spousal support if you live with someone else while your divorce is pending. A North Carolina family law attorney can advocate for you and answer your questions, like whether you can have a new partner move in during a divorce.
Can an Affair Before Your Separation Cost You Financially?
Yes. If you are asking the judge to order your soon-to-be former spouse to pay spousal support, also called alimony or maintenance to you, proof of an affair prior to the time you and your spouse separated can impact the amount of alimony you receive.
It will not look good to the court if your current spouse can prove that you were dating your new partner while married. Having your new partner move in with you during the divorce could make the judge less willing to require your spouse to pay support that would benefit you and your new partner.
Can Court Papers Restrict You from Dating Even After the Divorce?
Yes – sort of. Many separation agreements contain terms that address the subject of how parents interact with third parties, in other words, new romantic partners, around the children. If you agreed in the separation agreement that neither of you would introduce the children to new boyfriends or girlfriends during the first few months after the divorce, it would be wise to follow those restrictions.
Also, your parenting plan or separation agreement might prohibit either parent from having romantic partners stay overnight when the children are with the parent for custody or visitation periods. When one parent has the overwhelming majority of overnight time with the children, this requirement can prevent them from moving on with their lives much more than the other parent.
Could You Lose Your Alimony Payments Because You Live with Someone Else During or After the Divorce?
Yes. Divorce decrees and separation agreements often state that spousal support will terminate when the party receiving the payments gets married or cohabitates with a non-related adult. The reasoning behind this rule is that the former spouse should not have to provide support when another adult lives in the household and can theoretically provide financial support.
Can Living with a New Partner During a Divorce Affect Who Gets Custody of the Children?
Yes. The judge has to consider a long list of factors when determining who will get custody and what visitation terms the judge will order. The home environment is one of those factors. If you and your current spouse disagree about custody and visitation terms, living with a new romantic partner could be seen as a negative for your custody claim. The judge might find that arrangement is not in the best interests of the children.
Merely dating or becoming physically involved with a new partner during or after your divorce is not illegal in our state, but moving in with someone or letting them live with you could cause problems. The bottom line is that North Carolina law cannot prevent you from dating either during or after your divorce, but choosing to do so can come with restrictions or consequences.
North Carolina family law attorneys can fight your divorce battles and help you get through this difficult time. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.