One issue that seems to arise in many custody cases is whether a parent can prohibit his or her ex’s new girlfriend or boyfriend from being around the children. The short answer is no, not usually. However, there are circumstances where you can and agreements that can be made to help make parents feel more comfortable.
In some cases, the parties are more or less amicable until a new partner enters the scene. You may be concerned that the new partner is a bad influence on your child, you may be jealous that your ex has moved on so quickly, or you may worry that this new person is taking on too much of a parenting role.
In order to get a change in custody, you must show a material change in circumstances. Typically, a parent having a new romantic interest will not meet that standard. However, there are times when a new partner presents a danger an a court will modify your custody order.
When the Court Will Intervene
A court will intervene in a limited set of circumstances. If the divorce has not been finalized, the court may be willing to issue a temporary order prohibiting a new romantic interest from interacting with your children.
A court may also intervene if the new partner has been convicted of certain crimes, like sex crimes. In addition, a court might intervene if the new partner was caught committing a crime in the presence of the children. However, the fact that the new friend has a criminal history is usually not enough for the court to get involved.
Sometimes parents say, “I know this person is no good and something bad will happen.” In this situation, you must wait until such an event occurs before you can file for a custody modification.
What Can Be Done
If you are coming to a custody agreement, you can negotiate to have several terms included. First, you can include a term that prohibits either parent from having overnight guests when they have custody. This will limit the amount of time a new romantic interest can spend with your child.
Second, you can have a right of first refusal. This term requires that if a parent cannot exercise his or her visitation, the parent must offer the other the chance to take the children.
For example, if a father keeps the children every weekend, and one weekend he is traveling, a first right of refusal provision would require him to offer the weekend to the mother before trying to find alternative arrangements with a family member or friend. This can also limit how much time a new partner can have with your children.
Contact a San Jose Child Custody Lawyer
If you are unhappy with your child custody arrangement, you should contact a child custody attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to provide you with possible solutions to your issues and fight for you and your children in court.
Contact a San Jose, CA family law attorney at Dominion Law Group, LLP today at 408-288-5592 to schedule your initial consultation.