Visitation Orders usually include “new girlfriend staying overnight.” Remind the ex-spouse of the violation. A family law attorney can help.

Your ex-spouse moved out, filed for divorce and began a new life. Adding to great dates, lots of parties and a big job promotion he has a pretty, young successful girlfriend. They have the perfect house in a great location and the children love her. This story might sound a bit far-fetched, however when a new girlfriend, boyfriend, mate or partner enters the picture the blinders go on. The new relationship might include someone older and not nearly as attractive, however the pain is gut wrenching. Whether the relationship is new, established, or the root cause of the divorce, knowing he/she has moved on can be upsetting. You tell yourself you’re not jealous or resentful – you’re justifiably concerned. Who is this person, how much time are they spending with your children, are they imposing discipline, how are the children adjusting?

Unless there is a court order prohibiting your ex-spouse from exposing the children to a romantic interest, there is little you can do. As the custodial parent, you don’t have the right to control your Ex’s life. You do however have the right to know where your children are and who they are spending time with. Your children are adjusting to a major change. Mental health professionals advise, introducing someone new to soon can have negative psychological and emotional affects. Children need time to process mom and dad as separate individuals. They need time to adjust to multiple households, changing lifestyles and visitations.

Meeting a new girlfriend may make the children feel confused or hurt. A new girlfriend spending the night may make the children feel uncomfortable. If they appear sad, scared or insecure during visitation talk to your spouse. Remind him that prior to his new relationship, the children got all his attention. Explain how introducing his new love so soon makes them feel. Joint custody demands open honest communications. New girlfriends can introduce new rules, new values and new routines. Ask your ex-spouse to tell you about any social, economic or lifestyle changes in advance.

Visitation Orders usually include new relationships and overnight romantic interests. Remind him of prohibition and violation of the Order. If it’s not covered a family law attorney can help. Remember the children love their dad and he loves them. It is your job to ensure that relationship remains solid. Talk to your spouse, then trust him to do the right thing.

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