Adult Sleepovers and Child Custody

I often get asked by a client seeking a divorce whether it’s ok to have a new date-mate sleepover on a night when the kids are in the house. Clearly, I cannot tell two consenting adults what to do or how to spend their time. But, I usually advise that it’s better to not introduce a new boyfriend/girlfriend to children that are already dealing with their parents’ divorce and new living arrangements, and here’s why:

  1. During your visitation time with the kids you should spend that time focused on them because it may be a few days (weeks) until you see them next
  2. It can be confusing to children to see mommy/daddy being affectionate with a new partner. Give them time to adjust
  3. Always ask yourself the same question that family law judges ask: Is it in the best interest of my child(ren) that I do …..?
  4. Don’t create additional conflict with your ex because it isn’t worth it to stir the pot merely to have a date sleepover

Of course, you don’t need to believe what I’m writing today, but you should if you are in the midst of or considering divorce and you have children. You won’t necessarily have your child custody agreement challenged because you have your date-mate sleepover, but it does give fuel to the opposing party to file motions and request hearings. A flurry of motions is always an expensive endeavor for both parties. Primarily, I want you to always remember what’s in the best interest of your kids.

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