Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas

Q: There's not a cohabitation clause in my divorce/ custody order. Everything is final now. But could I get in trouble?

My ex said that that that if my fiance moves in and spends the night while I have my kids, he is going to press contempt of court charges on me. But there is nothing in our divorce or custody papers saying my fiancee can't live here or spend the night while my kids are here.

1 Lawyer Answer
Stewart Whaley
Stewart Whaley
  • North Little Rock, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: If it is not addressed in the divorce or custody document you wouldn't be in contempt (it is frequently included, so make SURE that is the case). However, he can ask the court for a modification to restrict cohabitation.

I would expect that to be successful. Conservative state, conservative judges.

It is hard to tell a judge you think it is in the best interest of the children for an unmarried man to spend the night with when they are present. Depending on what is going on and how much dad wants to press it, he may argue for a custody change.

Does fiancée have history of domestic violence; child maltreatment; sex offender registry?

Are the kids calling fiancée "dad" or "other dad" or anything of that sort? If so, stop that immediately.

Think of it like this - If you aren't ready to marry him its probably not time for him to spend the night with the children.

John Butler agrees with this answer

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