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Will I lose custody of my child if I move in with my boyfriend and I am not divorced?

1 Answers. Asked on Aug 27th, 2013 on Divorce - Florida
More details to this question:
I have been separated from my husband since November of last year. He has been arrested several times since then and left the state and is now back, but living with friends. I am wanting to move in with my boyfriend, but I was told since I have a child (2 1/2) that my ex might be able to hold that against me in court if we are not legally separated and try to take custody of our child. I wanted to know if I am able to move in with my significant other while I am in the process of going through the divorce without worrying about repercussions of not being divorced.
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Answered on Aug 28th, 2013 at 4:18 PM

If you have not filed for divorce, I recommend that you do that prior to moving in with your boyfriend. I did have a case where a male client had his girlfriend move in the house with him and the children before a divorce had been filed, and shortly after the wife had moved out. The judge did not like the situation and awarded temporary custody to the wife.  How a judge will react depends on the judge, some have very conservative attitudes.  At least if a divorce has been filed, it shows a clear date when the marriage was over. If you absolutely must move in with your boyfriend due to financial reasons, or to prevent the children from living on the street, then move in, but if you can afford to maintain separate residences until the divorce is over, I would recommend that course of action. You never know how your judge will react to the situation.

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Ending a marriage is more than just an emotional process--it's also a legal process. The court must approve your "dissolution of marriage" petition, and will also rule on issues related to the division of property, alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance), child custody and child support. A divorce or family law attorney can help guide you through the divorce process, while also negotiating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and his or her divorce lawyer. It's important to note that ethics laws prohibit the same law firm or attorney from representing both spouses in a divorce. Even if your divorce is an amicable one, it's critical to have your own legal representation to ensure that you're treated fairly at all stages of the divorce proceeding.
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