Sharing custody means seeing your ex all the time, regardless of how hard that might be for you. It is usually best for the kids to get to maintain a close relationship with both parents, so you will probably try your best to accept your ex as a co-parent even if you still have negative feelings about them as a spouse.
However, especially if it is soon after your divorce or if your relationship ended because of an extramarital affair, your ex being in a new relationship could be a source of conflict for your family. It could frustrate or hurt you and make the children feel angry or abandoned by a parent more focused on their love life than on their kids.
Do you have the right to ask the courts to keep their new love interest away from your children during their parenting time?
Do you have a noteworthy reason to want to keep them away?
If you want to add special provisions to your parenting plan through a modification, you will generally need to show the court that that change is in the best interest of the kids. The same is true of making special requests during the initial custody proceedings.
Wanting to prevent your ex from bringing new boyfriends or girlfriends around your children is a normal instinct. However, it is something the courts generally don’t want to handle except in rare circumstances. If you can show that this other individual’s presence is not in the best interest of the children, that could influence the court’s decision.
When can you convince the courts to intervene?
There are a limited number of situations in which the courts may agree that the third party’s presence is not in the best interests of the children. A previously adulterous relationship, while morally offensive, is not usually grounds to prevent someone from seeing your children.
However, if they have mistreated or threatened your children, that is another matter. When you believe this individual presents a risk of physical or emotional harm to your children, the courts may consider your concerns, especially if you have documentation supporting it.
Previous arrests for violent offenses or records of children removed from their care might help you convince the court that their presence isn’t beneficial for the children. The same could be true of someone with the current addiction issue or severe mental health problems.
Recognizing what you can and can’t influence while co-parenting after divorce can help you address what matters you can correct and avoid conflict on issues that you can’t ultimately control.