“Can I Legally Prevent My Ex’s New Partner from Having Contact with My Kids?”
Post divorce, it is inevitable that one or both parties will eventually move on. While each individual expects this, they never really consider how their ex moving on will affect their child until it actually happens. However, once one parent establishes a new relationship with another man or woman, the influence of the new relationship on the child becomes apparent fairly quickly. For many parents, that new influence is a very unwelcome one, and they may try to limit such influence by demanding that their ex’s new partner have little to no contact with their child, or even by denying visitation with the other parent altogether.
While many parents think that they are being reasonable in their request to keep their former spouse’s new partner away from their child, they actually have no legal grounds on which to make this request. However, if you truly believe that your former spouse’s new partner is a bad influence on your child, contact the Boca Raton child custody lawyers at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White to see what legal options you have regarding the issue.
Common Concerns Regarding New Relationships
Oftentimes, the request to disallow a relationship between the child of a split home and a parent’s new partner stems from jealousy on the part of the requesting parent. Because of this, many courts will not even hear a case regarding this issue. However, occasionally a parent will have good reason to be concerned about the impact that their ex’s new partner has over his or her children. Some of those concerns deal with the following:
- The amount of time the child spends in the new partner’s company;
- The extent of caregiving done by the new partner, especially where it concerns discipline; and
- The overall influence that the new partner may have over your child.
While none of the above concerns may necessarily be grounds for denying visitation or disallowing contact, they are valid concerns, and at the very least, should be discussed with your former spouse in a family mediation setting.
Concerns that Warrant Legal Remedies
There are some instances in which you may be able to intervene on a budding relationship between your child and your ex’s new partner. For instance, if you and your former spouse agreed, in writing, to not introduce the children to a new partner unless it was serious – “serious” meaning remarrying status – and your former spouse has introduced his or her new partner to the children after only a few dates, you may be able to go back to the courts on the grounds that the agreement was breached.
Another concern that the Florida courts may take seriously is cohabitation. If your former spouse has his or her new partner sleeping over while your child is there, they may consider revising the custody agreement. However, whereas up until recently cohabitation was illegal in Florida, the state repealed the law in March of 2015, thereby granting no actual legal grounds for the courts to act upon.
If your former spouse becomes involved in unseemly activities as a result of his or her new partner’s influence—such as staying out late, drinking excessively, or even using narcotics—you may be able to go back to court and ask for sole custody on the grounds that a continued relationship with the other parent is no longer in your child’s best interests (Florida Statute 61.13, Subsection 2.4(c)).
Finally, if your former spouse’s new partner is a convicted felon, convicted sex-offender, or has an extensive criminal record, you may be able to pursue an injunction based on the very fact that you do not believe that your child is safe in this new individual’s presence.
Consult a Boca Raton Child Custody Attorney
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, we strive to help our clients come up with child custody arrangements that are in the best interests of the children involved. If you believe that your child’s best interests are at stake due to your former spouse’s new partner, contact the Boca Raton child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White. Call us at 561-391-9943 to schedule a private consultation today.