Is Cohabitation Okay During a Custody Battle?

If you are going through a divorce and are battling for child custody, moving in with your new partner may not be a good idea. Although there is no rule against moving in with your new partner while fighting a custody battle, it is advised not to settle in with them until after a decision has been made.

Before you choose to move in with your new partner, consider how it will affect your children and the custody agreement you have with your ex-spouse.

Will a Judge Deny Custody If I Live with My New Partner?

Judges can consider cohabitation as a factor when deciding on custody arrangements, as it can affect the stability and well-being of the child’s living environment. However, judges typically will not deny custody solely based on living with a new partner.  

In custody battles, the court needs as much information as possible to decide what is best for the children involved. If your ex-spouse feels that it is not in the best interest of the child, it could cause a custody issue. If your new partner does not present any issues, it is unlikely that the court will make any changes to your custody agreement.

Factors the Court Considers When Determining Custody

The court takes into consideration certain factors when determining custody, including:

  • The age of the children
  • How far the parents live from one another
  • If either parent has a history of abandoning the children

If living with your new partner presents any negative impact on the child, the judge may make modifications to the original child custody agreement.

Types of Child Custody in New Jersey

When granted, physical custody allows a parent the legal right to have the child live with them, while legal custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions on the child’s behalf. Within these two types of custody, there is also joint and sole custody. When it comes to sole custody, one parent is granted both physical and legal custody. In this case, the parent is responsible for providing physical care as well as making legal decisions that are in the child’s best interests.

Joint custody refers to both legal and physical custody. When parents have joint physical custody, they both share physical possession of the child. It also means that both parents must work together to make important decisions about the child’s welfare. Joint legal custody refers to both parents having the right to make important decisions for the child.