Houston Divorce Attorney 
Schedule a Consultation 

Can Dating Impact Child Custody?

If you are a parent who is recently separated from your ex or going through a divorce, you may at some point begin to consider dating. If you are facing a custody dispute with your ex, however, you may wonder if dating can impact child custody.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Ohio?

In the state of Texas, child custody determinations are based upon the "best interest" of the child.

Texas courts will evaluate various factors when determining what is in the best interest of the child, including:

  • The mental and physical health of both parents
  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • The ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing environment
  • Criminal records of either parent
  • The child's current school situation

Texas law recognizes two primary types of custody: "physical custody," which refers to who the child lives with, and "legal custody," which refers to who is responsible for making major decisions about the child's life. The court may award either or both types of custody to one or both parents, depending on what it deems to be in the child's best interests.

When evaluating the child's best interests, judges will consider the parents' preferences. However, the court also considers the child's reasonable wishes, considering factors such as the child's age, maturity, and overall well-being.

Substance abuse, domestic violence, mental or physical health limitations, or logistical concerns about a parent's availability are just a few of the reasons a parent might request full custody. In these situations, the court will carefully consider the potential impact on the child before making a determination.

It's important to note that child custody arrangements in Texas typically end when the child turns 18. However, modifications to custody arrangements can be requested if there are significant changes in circumstances that affect the child's best interests.

So, where does dating come into play?

Dating, in itself, does not directly affect child custody decisions. However, the circumstances surrounding your dating life might influence the court's decision indirectly, especially if you are living with a new partner and the court has reason to think that your partner is creating an unsafe environment for your child.

The Impact of Your Partner on Your Child

If your partner creates a physically or emotionally unsafe environment for your child, the court may consider the impact of your new partner on your child. If your child is struggling to adjust to your new partner or if your new partner has a negative effect on your child, it could influence the court’s decision.

Your New Partner’s Background

If there is reason to do so, the court could also look into your new partner’s background. If your new partner has a criminal record, substance abuse problems, or any other concerns that could pose a risk to your child, the court could decide that your home is not a safe place for your child.

Restrictions in Your Parenting Plan

If you and your ex agreed to place restrictions around dating in your parenting plan, you are obliged to follow those provisions. For instance, you may have agreed to wait to introduce your new partner to your child till an agreed upon amount of time has passed. Or you may have agreed to not leave your child alone with your new partner.

These restrictions are not legally required, but some parents decide they would like to have mutually agreed upon boundaries included in their parenting plan.

Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. Can Help You Resolve Your Custody Dispute

If you're a parent going through a divorce or custody battle, it's advisable to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney who can guide you through the process and help protect your rights.

When parents are going through a divorce or custody dispute, they often need the help of an experienced family law attorney. At Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., we can assist you with every step of the child custody process. We are experienced working on complex cases involving multiple children or special circumstances like substance abuse or domestic violence issues that may affect a parent's ability to care for their children properly.

At Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of a child custody dispute. Our goal is to provide you with exceptional legal representation that ensures the best outcome possible for both you and your children.

If you are facing a custody dispute, contact us online or call us at (281) 612-5443 to discuss your legal options and create an effective strategy for resolving your case. We are here to help you through this difficult process and fight for the best outcome possible for you and your children.