If you have children and are involved in a divorce, as a Wisconsin child custody attorney, I strongly recommend that you consider very carefully your decision to invite a significant other to share your home. If you are involved in a divorce, legal separation or custody and placement dispute, discuss your decision-making process with your attorney before, not after, your significant other moves into your residence.  Your significant other may be a factor in your Wisconsin child custody case.  Your attorney must be prepared for any potential impact this decision may have on your Wisconsin child custody or Wisconsin child placement case. Consider the following factors significant in your Wisconsin child custody case in weighing whether or not your new boyfriend/girlfriend should become a member of your household:

  • If you are still married, is your new living arrangement likely to cause your spouse to immediately begin additional custody/placement litigation?
  • How long have you been separated?
  • How will this decision impact on your children who may still be having a difficult time with the divorce or legal separation itself?
  • What is your children’s relationship with your significant other? Have they had enough time to form a positive bond with your new partner?
  • Does your signifiant other have a history of serial relationships, domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse?
  • What are your future plans with this new partner? Do you expect this to last a month? Six months? Two years? Marriage?

Residing with a signifiant other too soon after the start of a divorce or legal separation may put an already tenuous custody/placement arrangement at risk for litigation.

Carefully consider your decision before, not after, implementing it.