New Relationships Can Have an Effect in Maryland Custody and Visitation Cases
In my experience, the manner and timing parents follow when introducing new significant others can have great bearing upon custody and visitation cases. In any Frederick custody and visitation case the parents of the child(ren) had a previous romantic relationship, even if just for one night.
The relationship was usually something more than a one night stand, or was more than that in one of the parent’s mind. Therefore, when those parents split hurt feelings are almost always involved. Sometimes those hurt feelings are attached to only one parent . Normally they are attached to both. When those hurt feelings are aggravated by the introduction of a significant other, it can cause even reasonable parents to have a strong emotional reaction. When you compound the foregoing into a marriage or adultery situation, you have some very real and stubborn hurt feelings that just are not going away anytime soon.
In these sort of cases, the separated parents may have a good relationship regard custody and access, for months or even years. Then the other woman/man enters the picture. Parents start imagining that their ex’s new love interest is standing in their respective mommy/daddy shoes. It is a very difficult thing to think about, even when your ex is not someone you are jealous to be with. Now, compound that disturbing thought times the power of ten if you have a jealousy issue.
So when the new love of your life comes into the picture SLOW DOWN.
This is not to imply that people are fickle or impulsive, but of course they can be. It is the nature of our biology that love and passion are simply gonna give you a different point of view than everyone else including your ex. By this I mean if you think that you are going slow in the integration of your new significant other you still MIGHT be going too fast. If you think you are doing it right, you are DEFINITELY going to fast and if you think it is going too fast…..well you get the idea. It should feel like you are going…..sooooo…slooooow that it is awkward.
There is also the issue of your new love interest’s children. Yes, this could cause even a reasonable person to be concerned that you are going too fast. Another underestimated issue on this subject of other kids, is the impact or potential impact on your child. Being a kid in a broken home is not all doom and gloom, Oliver Twist and that kinda thing. It’s two birthdays, two Christmas Days and having a leg up on manipulating your parents through guilt :). Then you have another kid or kids around and it can cut into the picture. So be mindful of that too.
Introducing the new love interest and his/her family wrong, early, or not at all can hurt you in court. If you want joint custody the judge is going to look closely at that sort of thing. If you, or your children, or your relatives refer to the new significant other or spouse as “daddy” or “mommy” it is gonna be a big problem. If there is one thing that is gonna get a custody or visitation lawyer cringe it is gonna be the “daddy” “mommy” thing. If you are doing it, stop, if you haven’t done it, don’t if you can’t stop, get a prescription. It is that important!
Tim Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place