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What Do my Relationships Have to Do with my Child Custody Order?


As a parent of one or more minor children, a child custody order is part of your divorce order. When Florida courts create child custody orders, they consider a variety of factors to determine the parenting plan that is in each child’s best interest. This is why parenting plans can vary so widely from family to family.

The relationships you maintain with the other adults in your life will affect your child custody order when they affect your child’s well being.

Your Relationship with your Former Spouse is Considered when Determining your Parenting Plan

Two of the factors Florida courts consider when they develop parenting plans are:

  • Each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the other parent in caring for their child and complying with their child custody order; and
  • Each parent’s willingness to facilitate and support a positive relationship between the child and the other parent.

Basically, a parent who regularly incites conflicts with his or her former spouse and undermines the former spouse’s parenting typically receives a lesser share of parenting time. Keep in mind that these are not the only factors the court considers and that the court has the discretion to choose which factors it considers most heavily in a custody determination.

A New Partner Could Impact your Child Custody Order

Whether your new partner’s presence will affect your child custody order – and how – depends on a few different factors. These include:

  • Your new partner’s relationship with your child if he or she is living in your home;
  • Your child’s relationship with your partner’s children or any others who moved into your home with him or her;
  • If your new relationship began as an affair during your marriage and the court determines that exposure to your new partner would be harmful to your children; and
  • If your new partner engages in behaviors that somehow pose a threat to your child’s well being, like regular drug use or domestic violence.

All Relationship-Related Custody Determinations are About your Child’s Best Interest

Having a new partner will not automatically count against you in family court. Nor will your sexual orientation or sexual preference – as long as these factors do not negatively impact your child’s well being. If you feel you are facing unfair discrimination in court because you are polyamorous, involved in a same sex relationship, engage in regular, casual sex or another aspect of your relationship or lifestyle, discuss the issue with your lawyer to determine the most effective way to demonstrate that you are a capable parent. 

Work with an Experienced Orlando Child Custody Lawyer

If you have begun the divorce process or you plan on beginning it soon, start working on your case with an experienced Orlando family lawyer now. To get started and have all of your questions about divorce and child custody answered, contact the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office.



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