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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5749
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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I am divorced. My boyfriend is at the end of s divorce (they

Customer Question

I am divorced. My boyfriend is at the end of his divorce (they are waiting to sign paperwork once it's drawn up and on a court date). My son and I are planning to move in to his house in 2 weeks, before the divorce is final. My ex husband is now threatening to take me to court for full custody of our son because of this situation. Claiming it is 'morally and religiously wrong'. Is there a legal basis for his actions?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick.

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Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

Generally, if a judge finds that your cohabitation could have a negative impact on your child, the judge may modify the original child custody award. For example, if the evidence shows that the child is aware of his the details of his parent's intimate conduct, this could be viewed negatively. But, let me see if IL law says anything specifically on this issue and I will be back.

Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

Here is an IL Supreme Court case that you may want to read. The upshot is "Parental conduct that does not adversely affect the child is not to be considered in the custody determination. Hence, evidence of a mother’s “immoral intimacy” may be deemed insignificant if there is no indication that the child’s welfare is endangered. Although it is improper for a court to presume harm to a child based on the parent’s allegedly immoral conduct, evidence bearing on the stability of the child’s environment is obviously relevant.”

What the court is saying is that cohabitation in and of itself is no longer a grounds for changing custody; but if the cohabitation negatively impacts the child, it can be.