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Can I Stop my Children Meeting my Husbands' Partner?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Mar 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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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
Hi I was wondering where I stand when it comes to my ex husband taking my children to his new partners house. My only issue with this is that I know she has bad mouthed my children and has never had a good word to say about them. I don’t like the idea of them being around her. My children have also said that they have been told they have to change their behaviours when they are there to fit in with her.
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
Please can you advise me about my partner, his has two young children with his ex partner they split up over two years ago, he has seen his kids on a regular basis at weekends. Can she now put a stop to this now he has me as his new partner. We have been together for 9 months and would like to move into but he scared she will stop him seeing the children, can she do the. We would be very grateful of some advice. Many thanks Sharon
Sid - 20-Jan-19 @ 11:16 AM
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Ak - 28-Dec-18 @ 6:21 PM
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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
My daughter and boyfriend where together for 9 years.they have nearly 2 year old. One morning he left for work as normal then texted her and said they were over.its been 7 weeks and he is taking toddler to new girlfriends and even to sleep there.can she stop this she doesn't want her little one to meet this new woman so soon.the woman has 3 children to different dad's and my daughter is devastated
Sad nanny - 6-Oct-18 @ 10:55 AM
Me and my partner dad to my 12 month old child...have been living apart for a few months now ...because of a fight we had he was having a break down at that time an I was suffering with depression after the baby ..it’s not been a easy relationship because of his ex partner who he as a son with..because I had pressed charges against my baby’s dad when we had the fight out of anger...I tryed dropping them but the court took other...so in the end I didn’t turn up to court on the day ...now me and my partner want to live together and start a new ...but his ex doesn’t want me around their son ..just because she doesn’t like me in the first place...we’ve never got on me and his ex and I only believe this is herreasonsWhy just out of sheer spite...mine and my partners fight had no affect and nothing to do with her ...so can she legally stop me being around their son ?
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
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 ?
Lazz - 29-Jun-18 @ 9:44 AM
One of my partners relatives is seriously mentally Ill, sectioned and prone to violent outbursts. In addition, he was seriously disfigured in a suicide attempt. My husband wants to take our two young children to see the relative, but I think this would traumatise them and have said 'no'. Both out children are autistic and thus are of a delicate composition. Seeing someone they knew who now has a serious disfigurement and who is likely to 'blow their top' will, I think, cause them undue anguish and pain that they needn't suffer. However, my husband has done things to/with the children in the past when I have said 'no', so I suspect he'll go aheadbehind my back anyway. Is there any legal way I can prevent my children from being taken to see this person without my permission?
Stevie King - 12-Jun-18 @ 10:34 PM
Concerned Mother - Your Question:
My husband and I are in the middle of a divorce. He has started dating again, which doesn't bother me, unless it affects our 4 year old son. He is currently on woman number 3, which he met a week ago. She is practically living there already and is around my son constantly when he is at his dad's. She will be moving in offically any day now. I've tried to talk to my husband about this. I expressed that it is too soon to have our son around her that much. What if he gets attached and it doesn't work out? It doesn't help matters that our son still talks about his dad, him, and I being together as a family again. My husband says I should leave him alone and let him live his life like he wants because it will not affect our son. I plan on bringing this all up in court because this definitely will have an affect on our son. Meanwhile, how do I handle this situation? It's hard to deal with but I'm trying. Any suggestions?

Our Response:
We can't really advise on this. Until it goes to court, you just have to continue and choose what you think will be in the best interests of your child. Him seeing his father and maintaining a bond is important, so you will balance that against the effect of the father's relationship status on your child for the time being.
LawAndParents - 8-Jun-18 @ 11:14 AM
My husband and I are in the middle of a divorce. He has started dating again, which doesn't bother me, unless it affects our 4 year old son. He is currently on woman number 3, which he met a week ago. She is practically living there already and is around my son constantly when he is at his dad's. She will be moving in offically any day now. I've tried to talk to my husband about this. I expressed that it is too soon to have our son around her that much. What if he gets attached and it doesn't work out? It doesn't help matters that our son still talks about his dad, him, and I being together as a family again. My husband says I should leave him alone and let him live his life like he wants because it will not affect our son. I plan on bringing this all up in court because this definitely will have an affect on our son. Meanwhile, how do I handle this situation? It's hard to deal with but I'm trying. Any suggestions?
Concerned Mother - 6-Jun-18 @ 5:18 PM
Denis - Your Question:
Hi there My partner was abusive with me and finally hit me so I called police and they took her arrest and after relaeased on bailNow I have a my nearly one year daughter with her who have birthday soon in a few weeks time This woman don’t let me see her any more not even on video callAnd I m scared that what if she don’t let me celebrate her birthday alsoAny suggestion which can be quick help for me?I did try to ask her yesterday to let me see her but she refused Also in back groundMy partner already been divorced and have 2 kids from thereElder kid was 11 and small was 9 she was not right with her elder one so her dad took away from herNow that child is totally spoil tooKindly advise me some one how to tackle my situation as I don’t believe this woman that she will treat my daughter right I m scared what if she take my revenge from herThanks

Our Response:
Ask your ex partner if she will attend mediation with you so you can make a formal agreement for child arrangements/contact. If she refuses to attend, or mediation does not provide a satisfactory resolution, you could consider apply for a court order.A court order for child arrangements would mean a judge would decide what contact or residency arrangements should be in place and both parties would have to adhere to it.
LawAndParents - 4-Jun-18 @ 10:19 AM
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