Your divorce wasn’t easy, and the custody issues were tough to handle — but you thought you finally had a workable agreement in place.
Then, your ex-spouse got involved with a new partner who is now living in the same house as your children. Is it time to head back to court to seek a modification of your custody agreement and parenting plan?
Is the new partner a detriment to your child’s well-being?
It’s pretty natural for people to eventually move on after a divorce and find new partners — and, married or not, they may live together. The legal relationship between your ex and their new partner is less of an issue than you might think.
However, you may have a very good case to ask for a custody modification if that new partner is somehow damaging your child’s mental or physical well-being. Arizona looks long and hard at certain factors when determining what’s in a child’s best interests.
With that in mind, here are some issues that could cause the court to make changes in custody:
- The new partner seems to actively be trying to subvert your relationship with your child by either verbally demeaning you, lying about you to your child, or interfering with your ability to communicate with your child as-needed.
- The new partner brings children of their own into the household and your child and they are constantly at odds in a way that seems abnormal and emotionally destructive.
- Your child and your ex-spouse’s new partner have a serious personality conflict and your child has expressed a desire to put some space between them for emotional reasons.
- The new partner is neglectful when they are left in charge of your child, and it has given you valid concern for your child’s safety (such as ignoring their basic needs, disregarding food allergies, refusing to take them to therapy appointments and so on).
- There has been domestic violence in the household since the new partner arrived (whether from the new partner, your ex-spouse or others that came with the new partner).
If any of these situations sound familiar, you should immediately speak with a family law attorney here in Tempe to discuss the situation.