Does having a boyfriend while getting a divorce make me a bad mom?

Abigail - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I have been married for over 8 years and left my husband because he was verbally abusive and became involved with a mutual friend. I am now going through a divorce and am getting ready to go to court for temporary custody. I have not been a perfect mom, but I think that I have been a good mom and the kids have been around the guy that I'm with before I left my husband but haven't seen him since and don't know that I'm with him. My lawyer said that in some cases the judge looks down on women who have a boyfriend even though they are no longer with the husband. So I am wondering does it really make me unfit to raise my kids because I have a boyfriend while going through a divorce even though my kids haven't been around him since and I have been a good mom in every other way? And does that give my ex the right to take my kids?

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Stormy - posted on 08/06/2013

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i have a 1 year old daugther and me and my husben have not been together for over half a year and i have a boyfriend now witch is so good to my daughter and has been in her life more then her father has is it ok to live with him in louisisana???

Deanna - posted on 01/14/2010

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No! You are not a bad mom for having a new boyfriend. However, if you think your ex might try to use that against you, listen to your lawyer and keep it low profile for now. Eventually, the divorce will be done and you can move on with your life...but right now, your kids need to be your main focus. They need their mom!

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Tanya - posted on 02/01/2014

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I was divorced and went through 2 different boyfriends. From experience, I urge you to get out of the relationship you are in now. I loved my ex boyfriend tremendously but I came to realize my kids came first. It was difficult because me and my ex boyfriend were together for 2 years. Going through a divorce and having a boyfriend just makes things complicated. Tell him you have to leave even if its hard, if he loves you he will stay away until things blow over for at least 6 months..Trust me it will be better for you in the long run.

Sky - posted on 01/17/2014

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Drop the boyfriend; NOW. A divorce is stressful enough without introducing a new man to your kids. You need to wait at least 1 year after your divorce is final to start dating. Your head isn't in the right place right now. And after you start dating, do not introduce a new man to your kids for at least 6 months.
No, your ex can't take your kids because of it. However, it won't look good for you in court, and it may hurt your case somewhat. But, ultimately you need to think about your kids. This isn't in their best interest.

Cynthia Emery - posted on 07/27/2013

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My sister has been separated from her husband for 8 months. They both have had boyfriends/girlfriends. They have two children, one graduated from high school the other is in high school.
Now my sister is going to Texas to live with her boyfriend to see if it works out before getting her son involved. Will she lose her son in custody battle if she leaves him? She has full custody now but they haven't ever set a court date to finalize divorce!!!

Elizabeth K - posted on 04/07/2013

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I was wondering the same thing. Cause I am a single mom (might i add MILF) in my opinion lol and I would like to be able to move on like my ex. I'm not emotionally ready but if the right guy did walk into my life that I could see myself having a casual relationship Im not sure if it is legally the most wise decision. Never doubt your a good mother. Your a great mother because you know your not perfect but you have done your best! The best advice I can give you is keep things casual until after the divorce. Good luck!

Redbear - posted on 12/13/2012

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Here in Virginia, having him staying over night with your kids present will lose you custody permanently so it may be the better course of valor to just keep it above board.

Evelyn - posted on 11/23/2012

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The courts do not take kindly to boyfriends or girlfriends living in the same house with the children no matter if divorced or going through one. You both are going to have to prove the other unfit one way or another. Parents are not perfect and as long as you are caring for them as they need to be cared for then your husband can not make you look unfit. But it does not give the husband the right to take the kids if the boyfriend is not around them at all though it could make the divorce part harder for you.

Johanna - posted on 01/22/2010

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I currently am in the same situation you are in Abigail. I am going through a divorce right now ending a very violent 9 year chapter in my life. I do have a boyfriend. We started dating shortly after my divorce was filed. The fact that your ex has not seen the children since the seperation plays a big part in who gets the children. Your boyfriend actually plays a minor role in weather you keep your children or not. At this point you need to really focus on why you left your husband and how your babies are doing now that he is out of the picture. That is what courts look at. They also will look at who is the more stable and capable parent and since they haven't seen him since the split he doesn't seem all that stable. Some may criticize you for your decision to have a boyfriend at this time but you need to look past all that. You can't stop love honey. You need to see your new man as your support system. You left your husband for a reason and I am sure your new boyfriend was not it. I do agree that you should keep it low key for the time being unless you two have already gone public. If that is the case then you really need to show people (courts) that you are still a capable mother and that you having a boyfriend has not hindered your ability to care for them and without the abuse it has actually given you more time in your emotional life for them. You'll be ok love. Having a little faith helps too.

Joy - posted on 01/21/2010

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Unless your children have been around the boyfriend, he doesn't need to ever come into the picture for custody. If they do know him and the situation, it is imperative that he has never spent the night while you have had the kids. Judges are as fickle as anyone, but I would not announce your personal business behind closed doors to anyone until after your divorce is final. Take it from someone who has been there twice...
Blessings, Joy

Crystal - posted on 01/21/2010

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I was also in your shoes and I had a bf after I left my ex husband and I also left my ex for the same reasons and my judge didnt say anything to me and I have custody of my daughter and my ex does not see her because of abuse on his new step daughter and the abuse he done to me and my child I was married 8 years and I am now remarried and I met this guy after I left my husband Good luck hun I know how divorces can be I wish you nothing but luck and happiness

Amanda - posted on 01/20/2010

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No! Absoultaly not, it's like the judge, your lawyer and your ex all telling you, that you are not allowed to be in a relationship. I agree with Kerstin make sure to tell the judge why you and your ex broke the marriage to begin with and let the judge know how supportive you new bo is. This day and age they can't take your freedom away divorced mother or not. Good luck to you Abigail.

Brandy - posted on 01/18/2010

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Absolutely not!!! It does not make you a bad mom!!!! While it would probably be best for you kids while they are going through this difficult transition not to have a new man in their lives, there is no reason why you can't see him when they are visiting their father.Obviously your ex had no problem seeing another women before you were even getting divorced, Now a days judges are used to this thing going on and it has no bearing on custody issues unless one of the new B/G friends is abusive or a sex offender. Till Custody issue is settled, i would not allow the new BF to be around the kids just to be safe and also to allow your kids and your self to adjust to this new chapter in your lives.

Ann - posted on 01/17/2010

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Is your lawyer a man? Talk about trying to destroy your self esteem. As soon as you mentioned verbal abuse then the courts (in the UK anyway) will come down on your side. With regard to who gets custody it will depend on the age of the children as their feelings will pay a huge part in the decision. I went through exactly the same situation myself, my boyfriend at the time - now finance - is called Mike Jackson and my ex tried to use the fact that I was with him against me. The judge told him that it was totally irrelevant - that was 11 years ago and my kids were very young. Try your best to be over reasonable when it comes to access that way it makes him look worse in the eyes of the court - make sure that you let the courts know that are happy to do whatever it takes to make sure that your kids are safe and happy regardless of how that will affect you personally. If you are not happy with your solicitor then change them you are entitled to do so at any time, if you are not already ensure you are with a company that specialises in family cases as they are usually better overall. Good luck with everything.

Kylie - posted on 01/16/2010

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I went through the same thing going through a divorce and had a boyfriend at the same time my kids are with me and my soon to be husband my x husband who i was married for for over 10yrs has since remarried b4 the first yr of the divorce didnt invite the kids we have three together he is a cop as well only see's the kids once a month or when it suites him he doesnt want to see the kids at all. My x husband is trying to take the house away from us i have 3 months to get refinace for the house or its to be sold he did this through a lawyer now you would think if he was a man he would talk to me about it but no he just doesnt want me to be happy when he is. I wouldnt worry to much have you done a diray of everything that has happened between you both and the kids if so that will go well if not start one up or b4 you go to court write down as much as you know that has happened thats what my lawyer told me to do. So what if you found someone better isnt it better your kids see u happy than not plus no kid should be put through watching parents fight mine did and it wasnt pretty for them but good luck to you im sure it will work our in your favour.

Heather - posted on 01/16/2010

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No, this doesn't make you a bad mom. On the contrary it sounds to me that you've been very careful and thoughful of your children and their well being. Your husband can't take the kids because of this. Kendra pretty much hits the nail on the head!

Charlotte - posted on 01/16/2010

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no ur not a bad mom .i lived with a man just like that.it took a long long time for all to settle down and a lot of court appearances.i was with someone else while i was waiting for my divorce.now im re married.u hold ur head up hi and rem ur kids will always love u.there is always light at the end of the tunel.just wait a bit longer it will be waiting for u.good luck.

Nicole - posted on 01/16/2010

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I personally don't think you are a bad mom or a bad person for moving on.Your children will adapt to any situationas long as it is presented to them well. I am personally going throught the same ordeal with my lil family athough i hae not found a new person to have in my life yet but when he comes i am not gong to turn him away because i may still be married , he messed up not me so why should i or you suffer for their mishaps , we deserve to be happy too. So if te next man can do it better than the last man the go for it and believe me your kid will be happy for you because this new person makes you happy and that's what they want for us to be happy so we can be much happier when we are with them.Good luck with everything my prayers go out for you and your !!!

Kendra - posted on 01/16/2010

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I don't think that this is an issue of being a good mom or a bad mom, it is an issue of following the legal advice that you're paying for and of staying focused on what matters most..your children's physical and emotional well being, as well as yours. Your children need time to work through a separation and divorce, and so do you and your soon to be ex. If you don't feel that you can put your new relationship on hold as you and your kids work through this, then I would definitely recommend that you keep your new relationship far away from your kids...and don't spend too much time on it, because your kids need you...now more than ever. You sound like a mom who loves her kids, but is really craving some positive attention from a man - totally understandable...but the fact that you're asking all of us about this tells me that deep down you know the answer but you just don't like it...kids first, kids first, kids first! Best of luck.

Sharon - posted on 01/15/2010

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My situation sounds very much inline with yours. I was married for eight years and had been emotionally/physically abandoned for over two. He was verbally abusive and had pretty much checked out of the marriage to assume a relationship (with our 26 years his senior neighbor). By the time I filed, I was dying for some physical and emotional connection. I was near suicidal the entire year of 2006 and pretty much needed "something" as much as the air I breathed. My booty call turned into something more, but I did not involve my child until things were more serious (six months into things). The divorce (due to him) dragged on for another two years. So that would have been four years total I was denied any sort of emotional/physical connection BECAUSE I wasn't technically "divorced". If it wasn't for the love and support of my boyfriend (now husband), I wouldn't have been able to make it. I was a beaten woman and needed someone on my side. The judge does not need to be aware of your personal life. You need to be OK with yourself in the mirror everyday, not worried about what everyone else thinks of you. You know what you need. Just be careful of bad choices because you're in a vunerable position. Be the strong woman I know you can be.

Mandy - posted on 01/15/2010

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No it doesnt make you a bad mum and i have been through the same but i didnt have to go to court with my children no-one is perfect in raising children but if your children are happy with the partner then you will be ok. You just have to think of the children thats all but not too much as sometimes they will make you feel its your falt in leaving their dad.sometimes the lawyer can make you scared of things so it gets you prepared for things that you dont want to hear but in cases with court, sometimes the best to have is a female lawyer as they know how you feel. If you need any-one to talk too im always here. Mandy

Joann - posted on 01/15/2010

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Heavens No having a boyfriend while getting a divorece does not make you a bad mom

I to had a boyfriend when I went through my divorice and he was my rock However Some judges unfourtenley look at stuff like that so I would take the advice of your lawyer and keep a low profile untell it's done and over with. IT will go by before you know it may god bless you and best of luck I know it is rough and very hard.

Meryet - posted on 01/15/2010

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I to was married for over 8 yrs. My divorce was finalized the day before Thanksgiving this year. My fiance & I have been living together since July & there was no issue with the courts. I agree that they judges main focus is the children & the stability in which they will live. If you show that you are in a very committed, stable relationship I doubt he will make any contest over it. If your ex (or his lawyer) brings it up in court sessions your lawyer might mention that your ex was being unfaithful hence 1 of the reasons for your divorce. I'm sure the judge will see your ex as acting out of his own interest & not for the safety or stability of his children. Here in Missouri, the courts frown upon bantering parents in a divorce.."he cheated/she cheated" stuff. There #1 concern is the kids. Showing the mature responsible woman you are to the judge will do wonders for your custody battle!! I wouldn't worry about the boyfriend too much :)

[deleted account]

Abigail,
No I dont think it makes you a bad mother at all; I dont think it should make a difference for either gender of parent. But sadly the Courts don't look at it that way. My hubby's lawyer actually told him it would be better if we didn't move in together and recommmended that we break up until the custody was copleted. we chose not to do that as we felt it would be deceitful and would look bad for him but we did decide to postpone living together. Good luck with yr case. xoxoxo

Amanda - posted on 01/14/2010

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well i hope not because im in the middle of my divorce now and ive been with a new guy for over a year we have twins together! i mean its not like i went looking for him he was just a friend when my soo-to-be-ex left me homeless my boyfriend took me in and eventually we started a relatioship i dont think it makes you a bad person or even a bad mom you cant help what happens alot of the time! i should not be used against you exspecially if it came to be after the split!

Toneka - posted on 01/14/2010

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no! i have been through my divorced with my boyfriend by my side the whole way he loves me and my daughter. my ex husband also has a girlfriend. as long as you take care of your kids and of course never leave them with the new boyfriend ur ex really shouldn't ahve a problem unless he's jealous

[deleted account]

it should not but mght. in case it comes up, emphasize that he was not the reason why the mariage failed.

instead show that ex has revolving bedroom door and that you and your boyfriend are in a stable and committed relationship.

judges want stability for the kids!

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