Can my girlfriend’s ex-husband saythat Ican’t be in the apartment if his child lives there?

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Can my girlfriend’s ex-husband saythat Ican’t be in the apartment if his child lives there?

My girlfriend has been divorced for 5 years. Her ex-husband pays for the apartment plus child support. All he is required to pay is the $800 for child support. My girlfriend and her 2 kids are on the lease (as occupants I think) but all she did was initial a couple areas and her ex-husband is signed on the lease. I usually stay over a few nights a week but he doesn’t know that she is dating me yet because in the past he has been very controlling and starts threatening to take the kids whenever she starts seeing someone.

Asked on April 7, 2011 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue about staying over is different than the issue about dating when it comes to the threat about taking the kids.  Although they seem intertwined - and they are on some level - they are different here.  Her ex can attempt to gain physical custody of the kids if he can prove that it is in the best interest of the children.  That is the standard that the courts use.  Now, who you are, your background (are you a convicted felon? etc.) can have an impact on that decision by the Courts.  If the court would consider the "moral" issue of staying over I do not know.  But the "real" issue I see here is that he has a hold on his ex financially and technically he is the holder of the lease.  I would like to see how the lease is written and what it says.  I would also like to see her divorce agreement to see if there is a co-habitation clause.  Please suggest to your girlfriend that she seek help from an attorney to consult on this issue or he will be holding it over her head forever.  Good luck. 


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