Can my ex dictate whether the kids can be around my fiancee? 37 Answers as of July 02, 2013

He refuses to let our children around my fiancee, who he's never met and refuses to. I've honored his wishes for 6 months now and I feel it's getting ridiculous. Can he do this? If so on what grounds?

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Alfred Law Firm
Alfred Law Firm | Janice Alfred
He cannot dictate who you allow your children to be around, unless it is something you agreed to in the divorce documents.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 12/27/2011
Marca Tanner Attorney at Law | Marca Tanner
Your ex can only dictate who your children are around if there are solid grounds in lawgenerally, if the fiance has committed a violent felony (the type that would possibly create a risk of danger to the children), or if the fiance is a sex offender. Otherwise, your ex's failure to allow your children to be with you while you are with your fiance is more than likely a violation of your child custody order, and you can take him back to court on a motion for order to show cause to force him to follow the order.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 12/27/2011
The Law Offices of Diane M Sternlieb | Diane Sternlieb
No he cannot! Unless your divorce agreement says no overnight of opposite sex if not married. But even with this morality clause this does not prevent kids from spending time with fiance.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 12/27/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
File a complaint with the friend of the court.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/2/2013
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
No. Let me know if you want a lawyer to help.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 5/30/2013
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    No, not unless he has sole custody of the children and deems your fiancée as a threat to the children or someone who will cause them harm.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Walnut Creek Family Law Center, Inc. | Merritt L. Weisinger
    Unless your fianc has a history of substance abuse or child abuse, he has no right to dictate who you can have around the children. It he interferes, file an order to show cause or, if appropriate, a contempt proceeding. When its your time, its your time. If he wont give you the children and you have a court order, call the police and make a report and ask for their assistance. If you dont have a court order, get one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    What does your court orders say?
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Law Office of Lynda H. LeBlanc
    Law Office of Lynda H. LeBlanc | Lynda Leblanc
    The standard for everything with children regarding custody and parenting time is the best interests of the children. Generally, the courts do not order that a significant other not be around the children, unless that significant other has some kind of history of criminal convictions, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or violence towards children. If your current custody order is silent as to third parties being around the children, then your ex-husband has no right to refuse you your parenting time because of your fiance's presence. If he does not want your fiance around, he would need to petition the court to modify the current order. However, please keep in mind that I know nothing about your fiance and assume that you would use reasonable and sound judgment about who to bring around your children. If your fiance has a criminal, violent or substance abuse issue or past please take that into consideration.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    The only way he can restrict who your children are around during your visitation is with a court order. It sounds as if he is merely jealous and is using your children as a weapon. If you have court ordered visitation tell him you are coming to get the kids and if he denies you have the local police escort you to his home with your court order in hand.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    The answer to the question depends on whether there is a morality clause in the decree or governing order. Such clauses are somewhat common, and prohibit overnight guests of the opposite sex with whom you are not related to and are involved in a romantic relationship with. These provisions routinely apply only overnight, but I have seen clauses that do more than that. If there is no such provision, and he is keeping you from seeing your kids, you need to file an enforcement action.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    The Law Office of David Bocchino, LLC | David E. Bocchino
    Based on what you've written, my initial inclination is to say no he can't, but I'll qualify that by also saying that it depends on the circumstances. Generally, when the children are in your custody, you are allowed to have them around other adults so long as they are not placed in harm's way in some form. I would tell your ex that your children will be around your fiancee and start doing just that. If he is that adamant about it, he'll file contempt charges against you and a judge can straighten him out.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Is this subject addressed in any court order? If not, he cannot dictate this. He can, however, seek to modify custody and visitation in an attempt to get his way.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/22/2011
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
    If your divorce is over, and there is no language in your decree prohibiting you introducing the kids to another man, then, no he cannot do so. If you are not yet divorced, it is a good idea to not introduce the children to another man. Your ex could seek a court order for this. He would need to show that your fianc is a bad influence upon or potential danger to the children.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    No. If the court order is silent on the issue, there is no restriction regarding who a parent may have around the children. To seek such a restriction , a parent filing a Motion must demonstrate that the individual endangers the children in some fashion.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    In MA, if the divorce agreement or custody agreement does not specify, you are free to take the children around your significant other. If the case for custody is still pending, your ex may try to bring that as a negative point.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The starting point for an answer to your question is any court order that establishes what the father's parental rights are. Since you don't indicate whether your "ex- " is an ex-husband or simply an ex-boyfriend who has never been legally determined (by a court) to be the father, it isn't obvious that he has any rights to do or say anything. If there is no court order defining any paternal rights, it isn't clear how he is even in a position to "refuse" to allow you to do anything.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    To get more control over the situation, you can file an Order to Show Cause in your child custody and visitation case (Paternity or Divorce) seeking an Orderthat your ex may not impose conditions on your time with your child/children, including but not limited to conditions limiting the people your children can be around, and an Order specifically allowing you to have your fiance around your child/children. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your child custody and visitation case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Not without your acquiescence or a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    If there is not a court order to the contrary, he has no say.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Doug Jeschke, Attorney at Law | Doug Jeschke
    In short, no. He needs to trust that you will make good decisions as a parent, regarding who your kids spend time with during your parenting time or the timing of introducing them to current significant others. Ideally, you and he will be on the same page, and make these decisions together, but unless there is a specific court order or prior agreement, each parent needs to make good decisions for themselves.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Law Offices of Jayson A. Soobitsky, P.A. | Jayson A. Soobitsky
    Usually no, however, I have seen situations where people agreed to language in an Agreement or a Custody Order that they will not bring the children around certain people. If there is not language specifically forbiding it and your fiance is not a drug addict, drug dealer, murderer, child abuser, or a sex offender he can not stop it.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    He can only dictate that kind of conduct if your fiancee has some kind of problem: drug, alcohol, sex, etc. If he won't cooperate file a motion for mediation of the issue with the family law court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, he cannot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If your custody papers say he can do he can. Otherwise he can't.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    The Law Offices of Jill Puertas LLC | Jill Puertas
    If there are no restrictions in your parenting plan regarding significant others, then it is not permissible.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Usually, the answer is no. Once a relationship is over, the parties are expected to move on. If your new friend uses drugs, is a sex offender, or does something else that would not be good for the children, then the courts will limit visitation. File an action with the court to have designated parenting time.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Anderson & Boback | Janice L Boback
    Your ex cannot dictate how you parent your children unless there is some restriction in the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Bowen Law, LLC | Justin Bowen
    The short answer is: most likely not. Unless there is a court order indicating the children cannot be around your fiance', your ex has no say so in the matter. Now, with that being said, keep in mind that under certain circumstances it may not be a good idea to have him around the children. Is he overbearing or inappropriate? Make sure you monitor the interaction he has with the children and make sure it is appropriate and they are safe. The last thing you want is for something to happen that jeopardizes your custody of the children. At the end of the day, unless a court says otherwise, your ex has no say so in what you do when your children are with you (within reason!).
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Unless there is a court order preventing your children from being around your fiance (or a reason it would not be in your kids' best interests to be around him), then your ex has no authority to prevent the contact. I would just encourage you to use good judgment in terms of making sure the kids are well-adjusted and prepared to meet your fiance.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Law Offices of Laurie Peters
    Law Offices of Laurie Peters | Laurie Peters
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    He cannot dictate whether your fiance or anyone else can be around your children. However, if there is a legitimate issue with the person in question (i.e. drug use, violence, etc), then he can seek a Court order, and the Court may grant it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If there is no court order preventing contact between your kids and your fianc, then legally speaking, no such restriction exists. Practically speaking, its best not to expose young children to a new romantic partner too soon (usually within a year of divorce), as that can cause stress to the children. Yet, every situation is different. Some kids, given the circumstances, adapt well to a new partner, some dont. If your ex simply refuses based on some subjective unreasonable position, then have to decide whether the conflict it (meaning, exposing the kids to your fiance) is worth it. I.e., conflict between parents usually trickles down to the kids. I would suggest going to co-parenting counseling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/21/2011
    Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL
    Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL | Rhonda R. Werner Schultz
    Unless a court order has been entered stating that your children cannot be around certain other people, including your fiance, your former husband cannot control the situation. Obviously if your fiance is a registered sex offender he cannot be around your children. Your ex would need to go to court and obtain an order limiting contact between your children and your fiance based upon some abuse or similar allegations. If the court order doesn't limit access then you are okay to allow your children around your fiance.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/21/2011
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