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Can I Stop my Children Meeting my Husbands' Partner?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 11 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Children Access Prohibited Steps Order

Q.

My husband left me for another married woman with 2 children under the age 3. We have two childen together, aged 6 and 8. It has only been 4 months and the children are still reeling from it.

He now wants them to meet his new partner. I have said no because of the situation and I think it selfish and unfair to bring our children into this horrible affair.

Even though I have told him I don't want them meeting her, he will do it behind my back.

Have I any legal rights to say that my husband can only see the children if I am present?

(Mrs HC, 8 October 2008)

A.

I am assuming from your question that the children live with you and that legal divorce proceedings have not yet been started.

As the children’s father, your husband almost certainly has Parental Responsibility for the children in legal terms. This means that he has a right to have a say about the children’s upbringing and welfare. Your husband is entitled to see the children and it is not really up to you to say how those meetings should be conducted.

By stipulating that he can only see the children while you are present, you are obviously affecting the relationship he can have with the children. If he does not agree with your demand, you cannot force him to comply. If you prevent him from having access to the children at all, he will have to go to court and apply for an order which forces you to give him access. Alternatively, you could go to court and apply for an order that sets conditions on the access your husband has to the children.

To prevent your children meeting your husband’s new partner, you could apply for a Prohibited Steps Order under the Children Act 1989. You would have to convince the court that it is in your children’s best interest not to meet your husband’s new partner because she would have an adverse influence on them. Your question does not mention any specifics in this respect other than your natural unhappiness about the circumstances. Going to court is not a decision to be entered into lightly and will almost certainly add to your children’s distress.

It does seem that your husband is not being very responsible and is rushing things by wanting the children to meet a new partner so soon after the end of your relationship. How does he know that this new relationship will last? Is it fair on the children to introduce a new person into their lives while they are still trying to come to terms with the huge upheaval they have experienced?

Although I am sure that it is hard for you to talk to your husband calmly, perhaps you could encourage him to read some guidance on introducing new partners to children. If you can persuade him that you are only thinking of the children’s best interests – and not stopping them from meeting the new partner out of spite – he might be prepared to listen.

If you cannot reach an agreement with your husband, you will almost certainly have to consult a solicitor to discuss the legal options open to you.

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Hello there, I would love your advice please, I'm engaged to my partner of 7yrs and we have a Son of 3yrs together, I have an older Son of 13yrs from previous relationship, and my fiance has a Son of 12yrs from a previous relationship they were never married! and have been finished for 11yrs, she has never let me meet my partners older son, but now it's causing problems with my 3 year old he's asking questions, they did go to Court about 3yrs ago, but they settled out of court because she brought the child to a child psychologist making him say that he didn't want to meet me, so they agreed that it was up to the child if he wanted to meet me or not, but she will not allow him and he is afraid to go against him mother, he talks to me all the time on video call so I know the poor child has no problem with me, my partner also has guardianship of his son gives €100 a week maintenance and pays for anything extra he is a very good Father and very involved, but it's getting very hard for us now, my partner lives with me in my house for 7yrs, but has to go and stay in his house when he has his older Son and he takes our younger son so they can see each other, they have never been able to go to any of each other's birthdays or Christmas's or any sun holidays together because she won't allow it but says it's the child but we know it's not, please help we don't know what to do at this stage, and we don't want to go back to court as this would not be fair on the child! ??
Serena - 11-May-19 @ 12:42 PM
I split with my ex 3 months ago and I’m worried that she is already talking/seeing someone else! Do I have a right to know who it is for the safety and well-being of my kids,I’d never stop my ex or try to sabotage any relationship she has but I’d like to know who it is to make a judgement call???
Paul - 3-May-19 @ 9:42 AM
So I’m looking for some advice here, I am currently 31 weeks pregnant and my partner left me for his ex partner. I have told him I will never stop him seeing his daughter but I do not want the other woman involved in my daughters life in the slightest. Due to her being a horrible manipulative person. She has got men after men in her own kids life. She isn’t interested in my baby’s dad yet she will use him till she’s had enough. I don’t want a woman coming in and out of my child’s life. Someone had told me that I could get a lawyer to right a letter to him for him to agree to it is this true ?
Rebecca - 1-May-19 @ 12:09 PM
I had to flee from domestic violence. After 15years 3children . 3months after we split he introduced his new partner to my eldest son who's still lives with him . The other two are with me . There are child arrangement going through court also my eldest has a child protection order . The other two don't . 5months later I find out that this new woman has been in contact with my eldest s school. Should school be speaking with her ? Can I stop this happening as I still do have parental responsibility for my child? Can I stop them moving in with her? I dnt know who she is . This is surely going to effect my son and other children . What can I do ?
Kak - 25-Mar-19 @ 8:32 PM
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Torn - 20-Mar-19 @ 10:26 PM
I've been separated for 3 years now, the ex walked out on me and the kids.they are happy healthy and doing very well at school. I just found out that my ex's partner molested a young girl 12yo to be exact. How do I go about stopping him from being or coming near my kids. I don't have any problems with ex seeing them(I've even paid for her airfares to come see them) but I don't want him anywhere near my kids. I always new he was a creep. Thanks in advance. (no court orders in place yet)
Rolly - 17-Mar-19 @ 2:52 PM
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Niki - 26-Feb-19 @ 6:08 PM
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Milamber25 - 4-Feb-19 @ 11:01 AM
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TxNana - 3-Feb-19 @ 3:09 PM
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Sid - 20-Jan-19 @ 11:16 AM
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Ak - 28-Dec-18 @ 6:21 PM
My husband of 9 years moved out three months ago as I found him messaging several women. He has since told me he has now started a realonship with another women. I’m not happy about this women’s circumstances. History of using drugs and is in the process of going to court with an abusive ex partner who also takes drugs. He has recently been arrested for storking her. They have two small children together . What I would like to know is where do I stand with my two girls. I really am very concerned about them being involved with this lady. I have said to my husband I would not stop him from seeing them but I do not want them seeing this women. They are both struggling already with their daddy not being at home
Worried sick - 9-Dec-18 @ 6:45 AM
I have recently left an abusive relationship after 10 years. My partner was abusive physically, mentally & emotionally; we have three kids together. During the course of our relationship; his ex caused a lot of problems by first restricting access to their son and then returning him, after the birth of our first daughter, with some pretty damaging accusations. This obviously caused more issues and we split 6 weeks ago. I don’t want their child around mine ever for those accusations! My children are very young and I think our bond with each other is the priority, not a dangerous teenager who we hardly know and a woman who sleeps with married men. I have daughters and it’s immoral to be honest. I’d be ashamed if my daughters ever conducted themselves in that manor.
Lucy - 11-Nov-18 @ 2:31 AM
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Sad nanny - 6-Oct-18 @ 10:55 AM
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Kel - 1-Oct-18 @ 11:37 AM
My ex husband new partner has smacked my daughter and she also also reported me to the police and social services for battering the kids can I legally stop her having anything to do with the children
Lynz - 29-Sep-18 @ 5:03 PM
Si - Your Question:
I split with my wife about 5months ago, she has started seeing someone who has done time for being caught with a large amount of cocaine. It was a long time ago fair enough, but I dont believe someone like that, with a history of cheating and trying it on with attached women as well is a good influence to have around my son. I have asked her not to have him around him but she revises and even takes him to visit his house too. Is there any steps I can take to keep him away from my son?

Our Response:
If you have good reason to believe your son is at risk, you can apply to the course for a specific issue order...giving details. The courts will decide whether or not to agree.
LawAndParents - 12-Sep-18 @ 12:46 PM
I split with my wife about 5months ago, she has started seeing someone who has done time for being caught with a large amount of cocaine. It was a long time ago fair enough, but i dont believe someone like that, with a history of cheating and trying it on with attached women as well is a good influence to have around my son. I have asked her not to have him around him but she revises and even takes him to visit his house too. Is there any steps I can take to keep him away from my son?
Si - 4-Sep-18 @ 10:21 AM
Im wanting to know if there is a illegally law breaking action going on as my ex partner has my 5 year old daughter sleeping in the same bed as my ex wife and her new partner is this wrong and what can i do about it .
Anto - 1-Sep-18 @ 7:25 AM
Nat - Your Question:
I have been in a emotional abusive relationship for 12 years where my 3 children have witnessed there dad been uncontrollably drunk and aggressive. He has been having an affair and is now in a relationship with his new partner. Unfortunately I he got me arrested as we had an altercation and have a pendi g charge for DV. Due to this my children are now with a child protection plan and he has applied to family court CAFCASS for access. My children are not wanting to stay with him overnight because they are scared to leave me cause of his drinking. I have also found out that Social Services are now assessing his new partner as she wants a relationship with my children. This is something I want to stop but have been told I can’t object. Please let me know my rights. As this will cause huge upset for my children.

Our Response:
You can't easily prevent your children from access with a partner of their father unless she is a risk to them. If social services are now assessing her, it should be reasonable to assume that passing the assessment successfully will mean she doesn't present a threat to your children.
LawAndParents - 13-Aug-18 @ 12:03 PM
I have been in a emotional abusive relationship for 12 years where my 3 children have witnessed there dad been uncontrollably drunk and aggressive. He has been having an affair and is now in a relationship with his new partner. Unfortunately I he got me arrested as we had an altercation and have a pendi g charge for DV. Due to this my children are now with a child protection plan and he has applied to family court CAFCASS for access. My children are not wanting to stay with him overnight because they are scared to leave me cause of his drinking. I have also found out that Social Services are now assessing his new partner as she wants a relationship with my children. This is something I want to stop but have been told I can’t object. Please let me know my rights. As this will cause huge upset for my children.
Nat - 12-Aug-18 @ 10:52 AM
Can I get an order at solicitor for him to see son once a week
Helley - 26-Jul-18 @ 5:05 PM
My daughter's partner left her and their two children nearly two years ago after he had had an affair with a women who had been in a position of trust in the education of their children. He has continued the affair to date. On a very brief return to "try and patch things up" with my daughter, he told my daughter that his mistress had mental problems. He has gone back to his mistress and has now started involving her in the children's lives.We are very concerned about the influence this women will have on the children. Do we have enough grounds to be successful in gaining a "Prohibited step order" to stop her ex allowing their children from associating with this women?
Caring Grandad - 18-Jul-18 @ 11:16 PM
My daughter's dad used to have regular contact with her but since he got into a relationship with his now girlfriend he hasn't made any effort to see her and hasnt seen her for 4 months now ( she is 7 months old). He is now saying he wants her on his own 2 days a week and to meet his girlfriend. I don't want her going to him on her own just yet as she doesn't know him and gets distressed when withstrangers. I dont want mg daughter meeting his girlfriend either as they split up and argue pretty much every week.
Jennieanne93 - 17-Jul-18 @ 5:55 PM
Hi. I split up with my ex 4 years ago. We have a daughter together. He has been dating through this time with many girls, and our daughter meet some of them. I have started dating few months ago and now my ex keep saying that he have a right to check his criminal records, he keep asking for his details and records our conversation face to face. Please advise is there any thing I can do about this as he makes me upset at most of the time he come to take our daughter. Thank you
Ania24 - 15-Jul-18 @ 11:29 AM
Hello, I have been in court for 3yrs now with custody battle. Now I am remarried and my ex partner claimed to the court that my wife is mean to her (the mother) and should not be around our children and the court granted her this until we all have a psych evaluation. Although this is an allegation,I have provided the court with 7 violations on the mothers part and they ignored them all except the educational neglect. Now my wife has to leave our house on my weekend with the kids, or I bring them and stay at my parents house. My lawyer has done nothing to argue this. What steps can I take to show this is not mentally safe for my child and their relationship with their stepmother and now unborn sibling.
Bender - 14-Jul-18 @ 5:06 PM
My daughter has recently had a baby. She and her partner moved back into the family home before the baby was born. Unfortunately her and her partner have been split up for almost 3 months (the baby is now 5 months).My daughter has attempted on several occasions for her ex partner to see the baby, but there is always some excuse. They are both 20. In the last two weeks they have both started new relationships.His new girlfriend has had some personal issues and involved with a suicide of her partner last year.As a family we know my daughters boyfriend as he is a family friend.He has been wonderful with the baby and made my daughter a very happy person. My daughter has asked that her ex partner gets to know the baby before introducing him to his new partner. He know believes that we are preventing him seeing the baby. This is not the case as the last time he saw the baby, the baby was very distressed as he did not know his father as he has kept away for 3 months.he doesn't accept the fact that we are trying to ensure the baby doesn't get distressed and he enjoys his time with his father. The baby spends time with his fathers parents (grandparents) on a weekly basis as we want to ensure the baby grows up with all his family members. We have thought about self referring to a contact centre for supported contact. TIA
young nana - 12-Jul-18 @ 2:46 PM
Hello, a court order was put in place for child arrangements. My son lives with me full time and his dad has visits every other weekend and every Wednesday overnight. He’s started however, leaving our son with his partner, I haven’t met her and she is quite young only 23 I think, is this allowed? It really upsets me to think that he gets so excited to see his dad but is left with his partner, he’s only 2.5 years old and I fear this is confusing for him. Is there anything I can do to make sure his dad actually sees him? I don’t see why he should go away from his home to spend time with his girlfriend!?
Gracie890 - 7-Jul-18 @ 8:14 PM
Hi, my ex wife is refusing to allow me to collect my 2 year old son tho weekend and bring him to my house saying he's got chicken pox. It's a 2 hour drive but he sleeps most of the way and I said I'll keep him creamed up. We have solicitors letters confirming the 2 weekly access but nothing with regards to if he's ill. I've said show me a doctors note saying he can't travel and I won't collect him but otherwise I'm going to. Any advice? Thanks in advance
Ssingh - 2-Jul-18 @ 4:56 PM
Lazz - Your Question:
My ex partner had an affair and a baby was the result we tried to work it out but when a DNA confirmed it was his baby we split, to later find out I was expecting we are no longer in a relationship and hes with the woman he had an affair with. Shes been violent toward all her partners , shes sent me threatening messages and reported me to social services , her children are under social services on the at risk register is there any way I can stop her having contact with my children ?

Our Response:
If you think your children are at risk, you may be able to apply for a specific issue order so that your children can only visit their father when she's not around.
LawAndParents - 2-Jul-18 @ 12:51 PM
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