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Do I have a right to dictate who can be around my children when they are visiting with their father?

Atlanta, GA |

I have a 16 year old and a 14 year old daughter with my 35 year old ex-husband. We have been divorced for about 4 years now. He recently has been dating a 21 year old and she keeps "showing up" when he has visitation with my daughters. They are not married and she does not live with him. I believe it to be an inappropriate relationship and conduct for my ex to have this person around my children when he is supposed to be spending time with them.

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Attorney answers 1


Each of you have the right to date and marry whomever you want but as you are saying, you have two young and impressionable teenagers. One would think that your ex would value the time he spends with the children and not bring along his date. Have you spoken to your ex about the quality of time he is spending with the children? Are the children uncomfortable around the girlfriend? Perhaps you and your ex could sit down and talk about "new relationships" and the impact on the children. Have you done any reading about introducing your children to a parent's new relationship? If so, you could give a copy to your ex. I guess the main focus is what the children are feeling about the 21 year old girlfriend and sharing this with your ex. Thank-you, Melanie Brubaker



I have a similar concern my sons mom just meet this man she is dating and right off the bat she had our son around him staying at his house.. She wont even tell me the guys name. Its scary when you have no idea who is around your kids and when the other parent is more concerned about their pleasure than whats best for the kids. What scares me is my son is diagnosed with autisim I habe personal exoerience with my brother disruption of routine is disturbing as well as bringing new people in and out of there lives. So my question is can she hide who she is romantically involved in who is around my son all the time from me? If she kept the two worlds seperate I can understand her not telling me. Like myself I have been seeing a woman for six months amnd she hasnt even seen him in person so his mom dont know her name. So she stays at his house he is at her every day almost and they go out on the boat every weekend with my son.. If she refuses to keep me imformed when we goto court what can I say or do to have the judge make it a order cause if its not a court order she will keep soing this and btw this is the 3rd man she has dated since we seperated 11/2011. And all three have spent time with our son and I was not told none of their names and 11/2011-today I have been seeing one woman sincs end of may and she hasnt nor will she get to meet my son til its more serious thanks for any advice

David S. Delugas

David S. Delugas


There are two components to these situations: (a) what parents do when they have their child or children post-separation or divorce and (b) what the other parent can or should do about it. (a) I agree that parents ought to date and, for that matter, pursue interests such as golf, racing, extra work, and even chores that are isolating for the times the children are not with them. In particular, new people (girlfriend, boyfriend) no matter how it appears that he or she gets along with your child or children within about 18 months (according to lots of literature from the world of psychology) is not good for them (or for the parents, too). (b) however, unless the children are in real and actual danger, not just it might be uncomfortable or you don't know who the person is that your former spouse or the other parent is seeing/dating, neither of you have the right to tell the other person what to do. As a practical matter, if the other parent lacks good judgment, he or she is NOT going to listen to you and you are not going to help the situation. So, the key question to ask yourself is "does (my former spouse, the other parent) EVER welcome my ideas and suggestions in which I tell them what they are doing wrong and how to do it better, the way I think he or she should?" If the answer is a resounding, "NO, he/she NEVER listens to what I say even though I have such good ideas that will benefit our children" then you might just do better to say nothing. The courts are NOT a good place to go until and unless there is something actually endangering your children and a not so desirable new girlfriend or boyfriend will not rise to a level a judge is going to do a thing.

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