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Can a new relationship impact your child custody case? 

Divorce may mark the end of your romantic relationship with your spouse, but it is most often not the end of your love life. And sometimes, new love can come your way before you formally dissolve your marriage, especially if you were separated for a while before filing for divorce. But what if you have a child together? Can your new relationship impact your child custody case?

The court takes a number of factors into account when approving or ruling on a custody and visitation arrangement – and everything comes down to what’s in the best interests of the children. Where your new partner is concerned, the court may have questions (particularly if your co-parent has objections to their presence around your child.

What is your new partner’s character like?

Your co-parent may have broad concerns (or even a touch of jealousy) about your new partner’s presence in their child’s life. However, the court will generally not forbid you from having your new partner around your child as long as they don’t have a history of drug or alcohol addiction, serious mental health issues or anything else that might put your child in danger.

You may also be wise to only introduce a new partner to your child once the relationship turns serious. Your co-parent may have concerns, for example, about the emotional damage it could do if your child were to get emotionally attached to someone who may only be in your life for a short while.

Child custody can be a very emotional subject during and after divorce. Learning more about Hawaii child custody laws can help you safeguard your child’s best interests before, during and after divorce. 

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