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How Remarriage Affects Child Custody

Family posing together

Once a divorce has been finalized, it is quite common for one or both individuals to remarry either sooner or later down the road.

But when a divorced parent decides to tie the knot once again, how does remarriage impact the child custody arraignment from a previous marriage?

The answer: it depends on the circumstances of the new marriage. Unless the new relationship affects the child or the child’s relationship with the other parent, the court may not modify a child custody order.

Yet, there are some circumstances which may warrant change.

When the Custodial Parent Remarries

The remarriage of a custodial parent may lead to a positive change for children, such as gaining a caring stepparent, an increase in financial standing, and a more stable home environment. By contrast, there are some cases where a child develops a strained relationship with the new parent due to abuse, severe punishment, or even continuous favoritism to the stepparent’s own children.

If a child is experiencing any adverse effects from the new marriage, a noncustodial parent can seek modification. Additionally, a custody evaluation can be requested, which enables the child’s experiences can be documented and included in the court record.

Another situation which can result in custody modification is relocation. Since the court favors children having both parents in their lives, a judge is less likely to allow a parent to move the kids to another state. However, if the move improves the children’s lives (i.e. additional income from a new job, more family in the area to provide care, etc.), then the court may approve the move and modify the custody arrangement.

When the Noncustodial Parent Remarries

In most cases, the remarriage of a noncustodial parent won’t have a significant effect on custody arrangements.

However, if the new spouse has made a positive impact on the noncustodial parent’s life and established a loving relationship with the children, this can result in increased custodial and visitation time. That is because remarriage creates a more stable home environment for the kids, compared to if the noncustodial parent remains single.

To learn how remarriage can influence other aspects of a divorce agreement, contact our Orange County divorce attorney at Gill Law Group, PC today.