How can I block my former spouse from moving my children into a house with his girlfriend? 19 Answers as of December 14, 2011

My former spouse wants to move in with his girlfriend. I don't approve of my children living in a house where their unmarried father is sexually active with his girlfriend. Can I block him from having the children overnight in such a household?

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Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
You might be able to limit visitation at the beginning until you had an opportunity to see the place, but ultimately a Family Court Judge will allow the father to have visitation at the house of the girlfriend provided it is a safe place for the children. If your ex-husband is sexually active with his girlfriend in front of the children, rather than in private with the children unable to know, would be different and could result in restricting your ex-husband's visitation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/14/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Look at your custody papers. There may be a morality clause and if so, simply advise him you expect it to be enforced. If he does it anyway, file a motion to enforce.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/1/2011
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
To prevent the children spending the night where your ex lives with his girlfriend, you will have to show that it is detrimental to the children to be in this environment, not in general, but as to your children. Your best chance of this would be if the children have a mental health counselor who says so. Just the fact that your ex is living with a woman to whom he is not married will probably not be enough.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/1/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Only if a court order gives you that authority. It is highly unlikely that any current court order gives you that authority, so you will have to convince the court that living in a house with an unmarried girlfriend is adverse to the best interests of child.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 11/30/2011
Willick Law Group
Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
You could try, but unless the girlfriend presents some kind of danger to the children, I do not believe it would be successful.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    If you can demonstrate that the new romantic relationship is somehow harmful to the children, then you might be able to persuade the court that overnights are not in the children's best interests.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    Under Washington state law, the fact that one parent is cohabiting with another adult (whether married or unmarried, sexually active or abstinent) is not a basis for restricting that parent's residential time with to the children.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    It is unlikely that you would succeed in blocking overnights, unless you can prove that your ex husband and his girlfriend acted inappropriately in the presence of the children. Would you object if he married his girlfriend and had the children stay for overnights? Many couples these days cohabit without marrying, and the Courts are well aware of that. Perhaps 60 years ago, such an arrangement would not have been considered acceptable, but in this day and age, so long as the children sleep in a different bedroom from the bedroom shared by the adults, and so long as the adults do not flaunt their sexual activity in the presence of the children, the Courts would likely not prevent overnights by the children under such circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    The court expects people to move on with their lives. You will need to show that the fact that the children will be in the home is detrimental to the children.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Probably not. As long as a parent conducts him or herself in a way that doesn't actually endanger the child, the court is unlikely to interfere with one parent's time with the child or children based upon the other ex-spouse's personal moral beliefs.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.
    Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C. | Richard A. Gray
    You'd need to provide more information than is in your question. Was there a settlement agreement? What are the terms of the divorce decree, if any, that govern overnight guests of either party? If the settlement agreement, final order of divorce or orders of the court on custody and visitation do not reference any prohibition concerning either party having overnight guests that he or she is romantically involved with; then there is no prohibition and nothing for the court to enforce. You will have to petition the court that handled the case or the court in your current jurisdiction to enjoin the conduct; but you will have to be able to prove to the court that the conduct is deleterious to the children's best interests pursuant to Va. Code 20-124.3.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    You probably can't unless it's a situation where he has a different girlfriend over every night or the girlfriend is abusive to the children. The fact that they are having sex (unless it's in front of the children) is usually not enough to change a visitation order which provides for overnights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    First of all, is there an existing court order regarding custody and parenting time? Unless you can establish the woman is a threat, physically or emotionally,then probably not. Your objection to the situation is not enough in a time when the situation you disapprove of is a fairly common occurrence these days.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    A "morality" cause, prohibiting girlfriends and boyfriends from spending the night when the children are present is somewhat common in temporary orders and in divorce decrees. Generally, people who want this prohibition insist that it be included at those points. I have never tried to enjoin such conduct after the fact though, and the reaction you are going to get would seem to me to vary widely with the judge and the part of the state you are in. The mechanism would be to move for modification to insert this prohibition. The court would almost surely require that it be mutual, and apply to both parents equally, which you would seem to have no problem with. To get this result quickly, you would need to schedule a temporary orders hearing immediately after filing for modification. Some courts will send you to mediation even on temporary orders, especially once they learn what the case is about. In short, I would think you are faced with an expensive, uphill battle over a single issue; an issue that could have been much more easily dealt with in the initial divorce decree.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    You can file a rule nisi petition to prevent it but you must prove it is not in the best interest of the children. Just saying it isn't won't do.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    It is unlikely. If the father is trusted to provide a sage home and care for the children, he will be trusted to not do anything harmful to the children or against their best interests. That being said, if the father has done something in front of the children or if the new girlfriend is bad to the children, than you might have a stronger argument. Before giving up, talk to a local family lawyer in your area and see what s/he thinks when given all the information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The court will only restrict such contact if it endangers the children. A court cannot make moral determinations related to lifestyle.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/30/2011
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