Should parents date during child custody proceedings?

The question of whether to date, or not to date during Texas child custody proceedings vexes many parents. On the one hand, it is natural to follow emotional (and physical) attraction for someone who is funny, nurturing and supportive during a difficult time. On the other hand, jumping from relationship to relationship (especially when exposing children to them) can be harmful.

Essentially, repetition and stability are important for children's emotional growth. When a parent cannot maintain this, it may signal to a family court judge that he or she is not prepared to act in the child's best interests.

In our prior posts, we have noted how celebrity parents have entered into new relationships during custody proceedings. Who can forget how Halle Berry's plan to move to France with her new boyfriend was rejected by a California judge. Also, the social media war between Brandi Glanville and LeeAnn Rimes has not made either of them a favorite of family court judges.


Just recently, Maria Sharipova shed light on the relationship between Serena Williams and her reported boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou, who is currently going through a divorce where children are involved. It is unclear whether the relationship has hindered the proceedings or harmed Mouratoglou's access with them.

However, there are exceptions to every rule. Simply because you begin a new relationship in the midst of a family court proceeding, it does not mean that you are at risk of losing custody. It is best to explain your situation to an experienced family law attorney to get advice on how to proceed.

Source: ABC, Williams says she's sorry, gears up for Wimbledon, June 23, 2013

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