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Can my ex-wife put restrictions on when I move in with a woman in my divorce papers?

Cambridge, MA |

My ex-wife has added a clause to our divorce papers stating I cannot move in with a woman until after a year of dating claiming it's for the well being of our child. Is this legal? Do I have a solid case to fight this?

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Attorney answers 8


Your ex-wife cannot control your personal life or who you do and do not move in with. She also can't control who you introduce your children to, barring that the 3rd party would pose any danger to the child. That being said it sounds like you are not going to trial but trying to come up with an agreement you can both live with. If this isn't something you can live with then you should refuse. You might compromise but agreeing to not introduce the children to anyone you are dating until the 3 month mark or something like that, but I personally would not advise my clients to agree to a stipulation like that. It sounds like you are negotiating so push back a little on this and find something you can live with. If you cannot agree and it goes to trial it's very unlikely a judge would order something like this.
Best of Luck!


Karla Mansur, Esq.
Law Office of Karla M. Mansur, LLC
81 Middle Street
Concord, MA 01742
P: (978) 341-5040 / F: (978) 401-0687

I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state


I would agree completely with the prior response. Unless there is some danger to your child, a court will not likely put any restrictions on who you are with or any contact between your child and any new partner. Although this is fact specific, I would strongly suggest pushing back on this and see what happens; there is nothing to be gained by giving in at this point. You may want to consider a limitation for overnight visits for a short period; however, this is very fact specific. I would suggest contacting an attorney to discuss this issue. Many law firms - such as mine - offer a free consultation to assist you in your case.


I would certainly fight any provision that restricts your personal life in any way. So long as the third party poses no risk to your child, there is absolutely no need for such a ridiculous provision.

I wish you luck.

Anthony Rao, Esq.

The above response is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer, and any communication between us is not protected by attorney-client privilege.


Do not agree to this. This is micro management. What if you added
clauses that micro managed her sexual and social life.

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A judge cannot do this. If your wife asked for this in the beginni98ng divorce papers (the complaint served on you). I wouldn't worry about it. She can ask for it but a judge cannot restrict who you choose to live with. However, if you have young children, a judge may make orders restricting your girlfriend's presence when the children are with you, if this becomes an issue in the case. Good luck.

Steve CorenI doubt very much

This answer does not consitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the facts presented. This answer is basd only on Massachusetts law.


I agree with Attorney Mansur. I imagine your ex wife does not want your children exposed to a parade of live in girlfriends. I imagine you agree and do not want the children exposed to a parade of live in boyfriends at their mother's home either. While negotiating, point out that each of you wants what is best for the children and you should trust each other to make good choices.


While I agree with the prior counsel who stated that your Wife does not have the right to control your personal life, I do ask that you carefully consider the impact your chosen living arrangement will have on your child, and whether it is in fact in your child's best interest. There are child development experts, therapists and other resources available to help with the process if you deem it necessary. I hope this helps.
Hindell Grossman@Grossman & Associates, Ltd., Newton & Nantucket, MA --617.969.0069

There is no substitute for a thorough consultation with an experienced lawyer. The only way to give legal advise is to learn the particular circumstances of each case in context. A question out of context does not guarantee the best answer, and even so, attorneys might disagree about how a legal matter should be handled.


You should maybe separate this issue from the rest of the divorce because it really looks like you are talking about a best interest issue.

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