Visitation with New Significant Others is Complicated
Any divorcee knows how hard it can be to watch your spouse move on with someone else and having joint parental responsibilities adds an extra layer of stress to getting back into the dating world. But how are you to react if you don’t like your ex’s new partner for one reason or another? Even though you may not want to hear it, trying to keep your children away from whomever your ex is dating might do you more harm than good.
Parental Responsibilities are Defined by the Court
Your custody agreement stipulates under which circumstances each party has parental responsibilities to the child. But there is likely nothing in there barring your ex from maintaining a romantic relationship while having parenting time. This means that you cannot prohibit your ex from introducing the children to a new partner nor refuse to allow visitation because of this factor. These stipulations would have already needed to be in the custody agreement in order to be enforceable.
Denying Parenting Time
In an effort to keep your child away from this significant other, you may think about restricting or denying your ex their parenting time. This is a bad idea. Since custody agreements and parenting plans are court-ordered, one party can choose to file a contempt order or call the police if the parenting time is refused. Although you may have negative feelings about letting your child be around the new partner, restricting/denying parenting time is still a violation of your court orders.
Keep the Best Interest of the Child in Mind
Since court orders involving children are about keeping the best interests of your child in mind, your response to your ex finding a new partner should be about that too. The only cause for concern you should have is if they are causing physical or mental harm to your child, or if there are other safety concerns. If this is the case, you can choose to file a court order restricting that person from interacting with them.
If tensions escalate and you are looking to modify your custody agreement, speak with an attorney to develop the best course of action. They will be able to help you understand the process and what you can do to keep your child safe in the meantime. Call (303) 647-4245 to speak with someone at Law Office of Alexandra White, PC and get your questions answered.