Milwaukee Child Support Professionals

When your livelihood, and the livelihood of your family, depends upon child support, you need the professionals

The top three things about your new boyfriend or girlfriend.

Well, your marriage is over.   Sometimes it is the cause of the divorce, sometimes it happens during the divorce proceedings, and sometimes it doesn't happen for years later; but it almost always happens-- the new boyfriend or girlfriend.


This situation, unfortunately, is frequently the cause of greatly increased friction between parents who might otherwise be able to agree on how to parent their children.  If it is a new boyfriend, he may misguidedly believe that he must act as the new "dad" to the children, and that he must be his girlfriend's protector against her unreasonable ex-husband.   Or it may be the new girlfriend, who foolishly believes that, in her new boyfriend, she has a ready-made nuclear family, and she doesn't need interference from the ex-wife.   Whatever the situation, if you are the new boyfriend or girlfriend, stay out of it.   There is abundant research to establish that when parents fight, the children suffer.  You do not help the situation by meddling.


If you are the parent, though, what are the nuts and bolts strategies that you can employ to make the best of the situation? 


1.  If your divorce is not final, you should not be cohabitating with your new significant other.  The guardian ad litem and the judge will not look favorably on this situation.  Additionally, if there is cohabitation, the personal history of your new partner is brought into the equation.  If he or she has a criminal record, a drug or alcohol abuse problem, or a history of domestic violence, these are all factors that will be considered by the court in awarding placement.   Of course, from time-to-time there is the situation where the new boyfriend is the biological father of a child born during the marriage.  Even under these circumstances, cohabitation is not recommended.


2.  Do not bring your new partner to court with you.  Firstly, how the family court handles your family is absolutely none of his or her business.  The judge will not let you new partner speak, and, in some cases, they may not even be allowed into the courtroom.  The presence of this person creates undue anxiety and makes it much more difficult for parents to agree on how to disolve their marriage.


3.  Make it clear to your new partner that your children's relationship with their father/mother is important to you.  You and your spouse are getting divorced, but the children, most likely, want nothing more than for the family to remain intact.  If you poison the relationship between your children and your ex-spouse, you will pay a heavy price.   Your children, ultimately, will resent you.   Therefore, you should make it clear to your new partner that the children's relationship with your ex-spouse is important to you.  Most new boyfriends or girlfriends are uncomfortable meddling in other people's family matters.   They usually do so because their help has been solicited.  Whatever you do, do not involve your new partner in family matters.


Divorces happen, and when it does, no one expects you to be alone for the rest of your life.  However, take advice from an experienced Wisconsin divorce lawyer, not from your new boyfriend or girlfriend.  He or she  should be someone who fills a void in your life; and someone who helps make your life better.  Do not let this person who destroys your relationship with your children.

Jeffrey W. Jensen is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin family law attorney with twenty-six years experience in guiding people through the legal difficulties involved in ending a marriange.  Mr. Jensen's offices are located at 735 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1200, in Milwaukee.   For a free consulation, click the telephone icon: