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How Can a New Relationship during Divorce Affect the Outcome?

Posted on in Divorce

Marrying or cohabitating with a new partner after your divorce is finalized changes your financial circumstances, which can lead to a change in your spousal maintenance or child custody arrangements. It may affect your relationship with your child, necessitating a change to your child custody agreement.

This does not mean you should not seek a new relationship after your divorce. What is important is that you understand how a new relationship can affect your divorce settlement before you enter one. If you are currently receiving spousal maintenance payments or anticipate seeking this support during your divorce, keep in mind that remarrying will terminate your right to receive maintenance from your first spouse.

 Talk to your attorney about the ways entering a new relationship will affect your divorce settlement while you work through the divorce process. Do not underestimate the impact that a new relationship can have on your relationship with your former spouse. Entering a new relationship before your divorce is finalized is adultery and can stir up emotions that make it impossible to work through a mediation or collaborative divorce with your spouse.

New Relationships Can Affect Custody Agreements

Your child’s relationship with any other members of your household is one of the factors the court considers when developing a child custody agreement. If your child does not get along with your new partner, this can affect your agreement and give your child grounds to seek custody from your former spouse. This is especially true if your child is an adolescent – the older a child is, the greater emphasis the court puts on his or her desire when it comes to awarding custody.

If your new partner shows that he or she poses a threat to your child, this will affect your custody arrangement. For example, having a partner who uses illegal drugs, is struggling from an addiction, or has a criminal history of harming children may be considered grounds to have your custody time reduced or eliminated entirely.

Property Division

Property division in Illinois operates on the equitable distribution principle, which means that instead of splitting a divorcing couple’s property 50/50, the court divides it among the spouses according to their individual needs and contributions to the shared property. If you live with a partner and he or she contributes to your household expenses prior to your property division being finalized, your new partner’s presence can impact your property settlement. This is because your financial needs are reduced.

Divorce Attorneys in Kane County

Do not enter a new relationship while your divorce is pending. Doing so can significantly impact your divorce settlement and complicate the divorce process, costing you more money for your divorce. Know the effects that a relationship after your divorce is finalized can have on your settlement before you enter one. Call Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 today to discuss these issues with an experienced Kane County divorce attorney during your initial legal consultation with our firm.

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