Nassau County Family Law Blog

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New York Tobacco Heiress Entrenched in Child Custody Battle

What impact could my dating have on child custody?

The tumultuous divorce between Anne Resnik, daughter of the late Philip Morris CEO, and Crocker Coulson recently heated up in Brooklyn Family Court.  The couple had a “no paramour” clause in place, preventing their seven-year-old twins from meeting any of their parent’s dates or romantic interests pending finalization of the divorce.  Recently, Coulson moved to have the ban lifted so that his children could meet his pregnant girlfriend.  Coulson urged that meeting his girlfriend, who will soon give birth to the twins’ half-sister, is in the best interests of the children.  Resnik made several allegations against her soon to be ex, including claiming that he visited a brothel at the time his girlfriend became pregnant.  The judge found these allegations to be without merit and sided with Coulson, lifting the no paramour clause so that the twins can meet Coulson’s girlfriend. 

A New Relationship Can Impact Child Custody

While you may be ready to have your child meet your new love interest, a judge may not agree.  When courts decide child custody issues, they aim to adopt a parenting plan that meets the best interests of the child or children involved.  To determine what is in the best interests of the child, the court will consider numerous factors impacting your child’s life, including any other adults that spend a significant amount of time with the child—which will likely include your new romantic interest. 

In a contested child custody case, your new partner may be scrutinized, and their impact on the child’s life closely examined.  Further, as in the Resnik/Coulson case, your initial custody arrangement could contain an express ban on allowing your child to meet a new love interest.  Whether your new boyfriend or girlfriend ultimately affects your custody arrangement will depend on the unique circumstances surrounding your case, but it is important that all divorcing spouses at least be aware that dating can have an impact on child custody. 

There are steps you can take to protect your custody arrangement and still pursue a new love interest.  The experienced New York child custody attorneys at Howard B. Leff, P.C., can review your custody issue and advise you on the best course of action.  Call our office today at (516) 739-7500 to schedule your free initial evaluation.   

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