Do i need to worry about a custody battle over this?

I have been divorced for a year. I had an affair while married and continued seeing the paramour who is also married. He has been separated now for 9.5 months and we intend to marry. This paramour has met my children and my ex knows this. My ex has been telling our children that the paramour is “bad”. Recently, he told my 10-year-old daughter that the paramour had done something really bad (the affair, I assume) and that I know what it is, and told her not to tell me because it could cause a lot of “legal action”. She asked me what that meant.

I am wondering if he is secretly planning some sort of legal action on me like a custody battle, as he obviously does not want the paramour around the children.

Does dating the paramour cause me risks to custody? We do not have a custody agreement in place, but my daughter refuses to stay with him so my son stays there every-other-weekend. I have been the custodial parent since the separation and have not filed for child support. Recently he got a job and asked me for child care, child insurance costs, etc so he could calculate the support. Now I am wondering if his lawyer suggested he needs to establish a history of child support prior to filing for custody.

Am I just being paranoid?

Child support and child custody/visitation are two separate things and the court will not tie them as being contingent upon the other. So, his trying to establish support will not help him with custody/visitation, but it will have an indirect effect on such a claim because it will show he is being a responsible parent by voluntarily paying child support.

As for the paramour, your having a relationship with that person is not enough on its own to give your ex custody. There would need to be a particular reason why the paramour shouldn’t be around the child, as against the child’s best interests, not just that he doesn’t like him because he was the paramour. Generally, relationships don’t come into play in custody cases unless the new partner is abusive or has a history of violence, drugs, etc. Sometimes relationships can matter though if the parent who has custody is seeing multiple people, and having those people around the child. The court often thinks that such an environment is against the best interest of the child.

Conversely, is he allowed to tell the children that my new partner is a bad person?

Technically, he can say whatever he wants to right now. Unless you have a custody agreement/separation agreement which says that neither party will speak negatively of the other parent, or the other parent’s significant other, there is no legal impediment to his doing so.