Clarification re Previous Post Please


#1

Erin, clarification and one question with regard to a previous post (below) please.

Clarification: There is not currently a visitation order. Mom being served with divorce papers this week; we expect a court date within 60 days to determine visitation/custody parameters. Whenever that comes, there cannot/will not be an order prohibiting cohabitation, as (I believe) Mom forfeited the right to pursue that 6 months ago when she began allowing the kids to visit us in our already-cohabiting home.

QUESTION:

  1. If Mom tried to incorporate a stipulation in the pending court order to specifically dictate that we can’t share a bed in the presence of the kids until we’re married, would Dad have to AGREE in order for that to be entered? (he would never agree, so it may be moot).
  2. Is the Judge likely to look at visitation history (including Mom’s endorsement of cohabitation during visitation) and leave the situation as is; or is there any chance that the Judge would reduce or deny visitation due to the cohabitation?

Thank you so much. Your forum is such a blessing!


PREVIOUS POST:
Bottom line - It's been 6 months of visitation with the kids in our home. Can we start sharing a bedroom? Will the court shrug it off since Mom allows the kids to stay with us anyway? And if not, what could/would be the consequence to Dad of us doing it anyway? Is it enforceable? Could it actually lead to denied visitation, or would it be no more than the judge just expressing his discontent, but not really "doing" anything about 
ERIN'S RESPONSE:
Unless there is a court order which disallows cohabitation you may share a bed. In my experience courts do not typically place restrictions on this behavior in court orders. (though they will enforce these provisions if the parties agree upon them)

#2

The court does not require the parties’ consent to provisions it deems necessary to further the best interests of the children.

Normally the court will not include provisions against cohabitation in its Orders, but will enforce a provision if the parties agree to it. In other words, if you and your ex were able to work out the parameters for custody prior to the actual hearing and BOTH agreed to disallow cohabitation, the court would accept such a provision in a Consent Order, and would enforce the same. The court will normally NOT include such a provision on its own, unless a third party (boyfriend or girlfriend) is proven to be a danger to the kids.

I see no reason why the court would deny you visitation based on cohabitation.