Advice Needed Desp

As far as I understand (Helena, correct me if I’m wrong), but cohabitation USED TO BE illegal. A few years back they changed the law, though (2007?).

Unless there is a “no overnights with a member of the opposite sex unless related by blood or marriage” statement in either your separation agreement or divorce settlement, then it’s not a problem as far as custody goes.

Hmmmm…so it’s OK that HE cohabitated w/o being married, but now that the shoe is on the other foot, it’s not ok for HER to do it. Double standard huh?

Did you mention to him the fact that he already broke the agreement by co-habitating before he got married? And that you would bring that up in court should he choose to persue the matter? Unless— he never had the kids spend the night while the ‘roommate’ was there.

I still don’t think he can get custody. If he doesn’t pay child support regularly, then I wonder if he’ll pony up for cash to try to fight you.

Cohabitation is no longer illegal in NC. I’m not sure that it would have much affect on custody unless the child would be in danger from this other person.
After 10 years of primary custody, your ex would have to show cause as to why it would now be in the best interest of the child that he have primary custody.
If you have the “no overnights…” statement in your divorce or agreement, it may present a legal problem, but since he has already broken that and it has been 10 years I don’t really see that it would be an issue. As comingclean2 suggested, pursuing custody would be costly and his not exercising his visitations regularly would be a factor you would want to bring up in court. On top of all this, factor in the wishes of your daughter who, depending on age, may be old enough for her wishes to be heard.

It sounds to me as though he is trying to scare you into either giving custody without a fight or not “replacing” him as a father figure in your daughter’s life. Since he has not exercised his visitations I would say that he’s worried that you will be a “happy family” and that leaves him out of the circle…I honestly believe that he would not win. Though you mentioned problems with the visitations, maybe you could suggest to him to take the visitations he’s already entitled to and see where that takes the relationship between them before deciding that he wants to spend all the time and money in court. If it improves their relationship or his sense of responsibility…that can only be better for you.

As a last resort, you can suggest to him that if he wants to pursue this course of action, then child support will have to be modified. It will come to light then that there is past due child support owed to you. Especially, if there is something in your custody order about child support. I say as a last resort, because it may be that after some discussion it could be worked out between you instead of jumping to threats as he has done…

Thanks everyone for your advice.

We do not have any clauses in our custody agreement pertaining to cohabitation or overnight stays with the opposite sex. None of our agreements address those issues at all. All our custody agreement states is I have primary custody, he has secondary custody with visitation and it then lists the visitation schedule with holidays and summer vacation.

Then it says a clause to the effect that either party may have visitation with minor child any other times in which the parties mutually agree…something like that.

We discussed this question on today’s episode of NC Divorce Talk Radio LIVE at about the 10:30 mark. You can listen at the link below: … r-17-2008/

Want to talk live with a Rosen attorney? Join us for NC Divorce Talk Radio LIVE - every Wednesday at 11 a.m. EST. Visit for more information.

I have been divorced for about ten years…I have always had primary custody of our child. We have a custody order but it says nothing about not being able to live with someone. My ex lived with his current wife for several years before they married and he and I lived together before we married.

My situation is this I have met a wonderful man after ten years and we want to live together. Neither of us have any interest in marriage right now because we both had extremely bad marriages. He is divorced as well and has two children. He is great with my daughter and my daughter and his eldest are best friends. We all spend alot of time together and have became a family. I thank god for them every day.

Now come the problem. My ex is giving me a hard time threatening to take custody of our child. Does he have grounds if I decide to live with my significant other? Is cohabitation illegal in NC I keep reading conflicting info?

I should also say I have alot of problems over the years with the ex not exercising his visitation, not paying child support, etc.

If anyone could give much needed advice I would appreciate.