You may wonder how your former spouse moving in with someone new affects child custody as moving to a new place is a very common cause of custody changes. The other parent introducing a new person and new environment to your child might concern you. 

If the timing of this major life change in a parent’s life occurs close to the time of the initial custody agreement, legal issues may ensue. 

New living arrangements in-state

Only if there is a high level of certainty that the new relationship is long-term and stable should any introductions of this new person happen. To figure out if this person is a trustworthy part of your child’s life, consider the health, safety and welfare of your child around this new partner. The majority rule states that you as the complaining party must show that the new living arrangements have some adverse effect on your child. 

Courts put the best interest of the minor child first and will intervene if the person has a criminal record or demonstrated any violent or inappropriate behavior towards your child. The court presumes that joint custody is the best interest of a minor child, so without evidence otherwise, the custody arrangements will likely remain in place. 

Former spouse moves out-of-state

Additional issues arise if the other parent moves to a different state than the one he or she previously resided. If the other parent attempts to move your child across state borders without your consent and with the intent to obstruct your rights as a parent, he or she will be subject to the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. This federal statute protects children from parental kidnapping.