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Can I Stop my Children Meeting my Husbands' Partner?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 1 May 2018 | 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 split with my kids dad 4 years ago as he was mentally abusing me etc, we don't speak his family pick up and drop off the kids as he has then every 2nd weekend, I have been with my new partner for 1 and a half years, but my current partner is in jail for something he did before we even got together. My ex (Kids dad) has found out. Can he take the kids from me because of this?
Loza - 30-Apr-18 @ 9:46 AM
Louise - Your Question:
I have split with my son dad as he was very controlling and abusive and hit me ,he was cheating on me as well with current gf ,I don’t want my son near his gf as she has expressed hate towards my son and fact he’s ivf baby!!she also threated on occiasona she come to my house batter me infront my son,she always on drugs and bender and not mentally stable nor is my son dad he’s on drugs all time with her ,he threats me all time and accuse me of all sorts every day and how he wishes I die and how gona do stuff to me even threated to set my house on fire ,is anythink I could do to keep this girl away from my son?and is anythink I can do to stop abuse of my exe as well?

Our Response:
If you feel your child is at risk when your ex's new partner is around, you could try applying for a specific issue order via the courts. The courts will investigate the level of risk and make an order based on your son's best interests.
LawAndParents - 27-Apr-18 @ 2:21 PM
I have split with my son dad as he was very controlling and abusive and hit me ,he was cheating on me as well with current gf ,I don’t want my son near his gf as she has expressed hate towards my son and fact he’s ivf baby!!she also threated on occiasona she come to my house batter me infront my son,she always on drugs and bender and not mentally stable nor is my son dad he’s on drugs all time with her ,he threats me all time and accuse me of all sorts every day and how he wishes I die and how gona do stuff to me even threated to set my house on fire ,is anythink I could do to keep this girl away from my son?and is anythink I can do to stop abuse of my exe as well?
Louise - 24-Apr-18 @ 9:49 PM
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win - 18-Apr-18 @ 8:53 PM
My mothers boyfriend Peter recently died. My mother and I lived with him for 5 years but they were not married. after my mother died i continued to live with Peter. My mum is divorced from my dad, I have a good relationship but I considered Peter to be more of a father to me than my dad ever was. Peter had no will.  He had no children and had never married.  His parents are dead and he was an only child, it also appears that both of his parents were only children. His estate is worth roughly £500,000. Am I entitled to anything?! help
HelpMarie - 4-Apr-18 @ 9:48 AM
To cut a long story short my ex had a long affair with a woman he had been taking my daughter to when I didn't know anything was going on. My daughter was told to lie about where she was. Anyway I went to court about other issues with him and it got solved and he has her every other weekend which started this weekend but in the contract it says he can take my daughter to meet this woman again In May. My daughter doesn't want to she is only 4. And I genuinely don't think I'm going to be able to cope when this starts it's breaking me what can I do? It's so hard this woman knew about us and had an affair with my ex for nearly a year and told my daughter not.to tell me about her. I have a non molestation order on my ex and a prohibited steps order. Any help is very much appreciated
Nicole - 11-Mar-18 @ 2:30 PM
Eeeeeee - Your Question:
I’ve been separated from my child’s father for a while and he’s been introducing his new partner to my son without my permission,I said nicely to him that I don’t not feel comfortable with someone he’s known not long around my child,he agreed and apologised a week later my son sees his father on a sat after seeing his father my son told me he went out with his dad and could not tell me who else he was with only to find out he was with his new partner I called him and said I wasent fine with it.and she then spoke to me on the phone and told me I was an unfit mother and was verbally abusive to me down the phone. What can I do? He has started being very verbally abusive to me also.he has moved away and only sees him on a Sat he doesn’t pay me any child support either for weeks

Our Response:
You cannot have a say over a new partner. While your child is with the other parent with parental responsibility they can choose what to do while the child is in their care. You can only object if you feel the child is genuinely at risk. As for the child suppotr, if you are not being paid regularly, try contacting CM Options for more advice.
LawAndParents - 6-Mar-18 @ 3:19 PM
Hi, me and my partner split just over a year ago we have a 2 year old together - I moved away but he had my daughter every 2 weeks .however 5 months after we split he ask me back so we started to make a go off things but I found out he was still seeing this girl he met just weeks after we finished so I obviously stopped seeing himi found out my daughter had been having contact too with out me knowing - weekends away etc ..... obviously so upsetting for me to find out Then after 3 months went by he came to me again saying how he made a massive mistake and loves me so yet again like a fool I gave another change we have a little girl I just wanted my family back but then to find out he had slept with thq and girl again and been lying again ! My little girl had seen me and her dad spending time as a family it has affected me so bad I can’t habr my little girl around this women just yet what must be going through my baby’s mind seeing 2 woman with her dad ! Well me as her mom then another woman ... what can I do ?
Nott - 5-Mar-18 @ 9:09 AM
I’ve been separated from my child’s father for a while and he’s been introducing his new partner to my son without my permission,I said nicely to him that I don’t not feel comfortable with someone he’s known not long around my child,he agreed and apologised a week later my son sees his father on a sat after seeing his father my son told me he went out with his dad and could not tell me who else he was with only to find out he was with his new partner I called him and said I wasent fine with it.and she then spoke to me on the phone and told me I was an unfit mother and was verbally abusive to me down the phone. What can I do? He has started being very verbally abusive to me also.he has moved away and only sees him on a Sat he doesn’t pay me any child support either for weeks
Eeeeeee - 4-Mar-18 @ 10:44 PM
D.Turner - Your Question:
My husband and I recently split and he was in a new relationship about a month after. He's informed me he's going to introduce our 2 daughters to his girlfriend of 2 weeks. Our children are 1 1/2 yrs and 5. I told him he should really decide against that but he's being extremely selfish. His girlfriend is a drunk and an addict and has lost custody of her own 2 children. I'm worried about what my kids may be forced to witness or be put through with her lengthy record. We have a temp order in place at the moment but what can be done to ensure my children are safe? My children's best interest is my main concern and him thinking adding more confusion into their lives is okay is very upsetting to not just myself but my oldest as well.

Our Response:
A prohibited steps order can remain in place until a court overturns it.
LawAndParents - 13-Feb-18 @ 3:21 PM
My husband and I recently split and he was in a new relationship about a month after. He's informed me he's going to introduce our 2 daughters to his girlfriend of 2 weeks. Our children are 1 1/2 yrs and 5. I told him he should really decide against that but he's being extremely selfish. His girlfriend is a drunk and an addict and has lost custody of her own 2 children. I'm worried about what my kids may be forced to witness or be put through with her lengthy record. We have a temp order in place at the moment but what can be done to ensure my children are safe? My children's best interest is my main concern and him thinking adding more confusion into their lives is okay is very upsetting to not just myself but my oldest as well.
D.Turner - 12-Feb-18 @ 4:00 PM
Chris - Your Question:
I divorced years ago and I recently have since remarried to my partner whom I've been with for the past several years. My ex has always found a way to condescend my abilities as a father and is never willing to work with me unless it's to her benefit, and my current partner has grown quite a hatred towards them because of it. My partner doesn't want to have any interaction with my children's mother and now it's at a point where my current partner doesn't want to attend my children's birthday party because she feels forced to be there. I suggested separate parties (because I can't stand my ex either), but as expected, my ex said no. She always complains about how she never sees or talks to my current partner and states that she has a right as their mother to know who's raising them (keeping in mind that they have met in the past a handful of times, but I've tried to mediate the amount of interaction the two have). My question is. Can my ex prevent me from seeing my kids or take away custody if she has no interaction with their stepmother? My current partner cares for them as if they were her own and always has. I personally think that part of my ex's disgruntlement comes from jealousy of my happiness and successful life since we divorced. Obviously I would do anything for my children and their happiness, but I feel it's not beneficial if placing the parents (and step parents) in one setting makes for a miserable atmosphere. I also know that as soon as I tell my ex that my current partner will not be attending, it's going to turn into a huge blow up and I'm concerned if there are any repercussions that could come out of it in regards to the time I see my kids.

Our Response:
It's not your ex's decision what you do while your children are in your care and your new partner can't be "made" to communicate with your ex if she doesn't want to. If your ex tries to stop contact, you always have the legal system as a last resort option to fall back on.
LawAndParents - 31-Jan-18 @ 2:35 PM
I divorced years ago and I recently have since remarried to my partner whom I've been with for the past several years. My ex has always found a way to condescend my abilities as a father and is never willing to work with me unless it's to her benefit, and my current partner has grown quite a hatred towards them because of it. My partner doesn't want to have any interaction with my children's mother and now it's at a point where my current partner doesn't want to attend my children's birthday party because she feels forced to be there. I suggested separate parties (because I can't stand my ex either), but as expected, my ex said no. She always complains about how she never sees or talks to my current partner and states that she has a right as their mother to know who's raising them (keeping in mind that they have met in the past a handful of times, but I've tried to mediate the amount of interaction the two have). My question is... Can my ex prevent me from seeing my kids or take away custody if she has no interaction with their stepmother? My current partner cares for them as if they were her own and always has. I personally think that part of my ex's disgruntlement comes from jealousy of my happiness and successful life since we divorced. Obviously I would do anything for my children and their happiness, but I feel it's not beneficial if placing the parents (and step parents) in one setting makes for a miserable atmosphere. I also know that as soon as I tell my ex that my current partner will not be attending, it's going to turn into a huge blow up and I'm concerned if there are any repercussions that could come out of it in regards to the time I see my kids.
Chris - 30-Jan-18 @ 8:48 PM
Shirley- Your Question:
My controlling ex husband says he will stop paying maintenance and contact authorities if I let my friend see our kids. He says she is a sexual predator even though there’s no evidence to prove this. He says our relationship is unhealthy and she has no reason to spend time with the kids. I know if I tell her this she will want nothing to do with us and understandably so. What can I do?

Our Response:
If your husband contacts the authorities they will conduct their own investigations, which will find nothing, if what you say is correct. If your ex stops maintenance payments, you could consider contact the CMS.
LawAndParents - 30-Jan-18 @ 10:30 AM
My controlling ex husband says he will stop paying maintenance and contact authorities if I let my friend see our kids. He says she is a sexual predator even though there’s no evidence to prove this. He says our relationship is unhealthy and she has no reason to spend time with the kids. I know if I tell her this she will want nothing to do with us and understandably so. What can I do?
Shirley - 27-Jan-18 @ 6:15 PM
My 6 year old child does not want overnight stays with her dad.Do I have to force her. She hasn’t had a overnight stay yet. She just sees him for a day in weekend. He is threatening to go to court for more access.
MT - 9-Jan-18 @ 4:16 AM
I’m currently pregnant and my partner isn’t able to see his current child with his ex. However, I’m unaware of what circumstances happened in order for him to not see his child. As I’m carrying his child I feel like I’m entitled to know what happened incase it can effect my child in anyway. Every time I’ve tried asking him, he changes the story of what happened. He currently has supervised visits with his child (first born) until the end of the court where he’ll see what rights he is entitled to by law. I’ve even tried talking to serveral of his family members and I’ve been told only he and one other member of his family know what really happened which makes me feel uneased with the whole situation. I’ve also tried talking to some of his friends and all have said they don’t know what happened. This is just causing my suspicions to rise and as it’s getting closer to my due date I’m beginning to stress more about it all. Luckily, we aren’t living together, which makes me feel a bit safer as the baby will be living with me. Legally, is there any way I can find out what happened through Caffcass or the courts? Or do I have no rights to know at all? Is there a specific way to go about finding out for the well-being of myself and my unborn child? Also if he does happen to be a potential threat to me or the baby, what can I do to restrict him from seeing us, or most importantly the baby? Thank you x
MummyToBe - 1-Jan-18 @ 8:33 PM
I have a question and hope you can help. My ex husbands partner keeps saying that my daughter is either too fat or too thin every time she sees her. Every time she comes home in tears and is now hating going to see them. I want to know can I get a no contact order for her as this is mental abuse on a small child (13). They don't live together as he's not allowed til her youngest goes to uni in 5 yrs time. My daughter is also made to feel like the step daughter to her own father when she's there because of his partner. Hope this makes sense. Many thanks
Neat - 27-Dec-17 @ 7:21 PM
What reason do you have to want to stop your ex from Introducing his new partner to his/your children?. Has this persondone something wrong specifically to the children or (not to be rude) are you just being awkward. From someone going through this who just wants a happy life and Include his children Into this (with my own) it's not easy.Blending a family is a struggle in itself and me for one only want see that everyone is happy and have their needs tended to without steping on a parents toes and this is a hard job which takes time and trust. In my eyes as long as the children are happy and get to have both parents In their lives and them both be on the same page without being at each other's throats is what's in their best interest. My mum stopped me seeing my dad as a child and I now feel a part of me is missing and this was onlybecause he moved on. Show your children that you can get on for their sake and they can love both of you. One day they will make their own choices and you want them to know that they were loved by both parents and any future partners. Until there is a real problemdon't cause one as much as it may hurt. They may like and get along with his new partner but they will always be your babies and will in the future respect the fact you never got it the way of their relationship with there father. Love is most important and jealousy and hatred will only eat you up. Move forward and be happy that they have a dad that wants them in his life....many don't get that opportunity the fact he is there for them should be more than enough
Beenthroughthis - 23-Dec-17 @ 3:50 AM
Dsilva - Your Question:
Thank you for your response.So just to clarify if he wants to remarry she can't use the children i.e. Say that she won't let him see them if he does??Thanks

Our Response:
She can try, if she stops him seeing the children, he may have to get a child arrangements order drawn up by a judge. The judge will not see your presence in their father's life as a reason to prevent contact, unless there is a proven risk to the children.
LawAndParents - 8-Dec-17 @ 11:19 AM
Thank you for your response. So just to clarify if he wants to remarry she can't use the children i.e. Say that she won't let him see them if he does?? Thanks
Dsilva - 7-Dec-17 @ 2:44 AM
Silva - Your Question:
Hi, I'm hoping I'll get some advice here.I have been seeing someone for almost two years who is divorced however every time he tries to talk to his ex about moving on with his life she threatens him with her not letting him see the kids or taking them abroad. I know he has access rights and has them every other weekend. I have told him to speak to his solicitor but have been told he already has and they say there is nothing he can do. As I am not aware of the law is there anything to stop her? Or am I being played like a mug? Surely an ex cannot influence what you do in your personal life and certainly not use the children in such a disgraceful way?I really hope you can help meRegardssilva

Our Response:
Unfortunately there are many parents who behave in this manner. It might be worth them drawing up a formal agreement for child arrangements - perhaps using a mediation service at first. This can be made legally enforceable by the courts at a later date if necessary. When the children are in their father's care, he is responsible for them and the other parent cannot dictate what they can/can't do (as long as they're safe etc). If an order is in place, it should make it more difficult for the mother to prevent contact or holidays etc.
LawAndParents - 27-Nov-17 @ 10:39 AM
Hi, I'm hoping I'll get some advice here. I have beenseeing someone for almost two years who is divorced however every time he tries to talk to his ex about moving on with his life she threatens him with her not letting him see the kids or taking them abroad. I know he has access rights and has them every other weekend. I have told him to speak to his solicitor but have been told he already has and they say there is nothing he can do. As I am not aware of the law is there anything to stop her? Or am I being played like a mug? Surely an ex cannot influence what you do in your personal life and certainly not use the children in such a disgraceful way? I really hope you can help me Regards silva
Silva - 23-Nov-17 @ 1:54 AM
My ex wants kids to spend thier visiting time with his new partner as he cannot make it for most of the two hr visit through week nights due to work apart from the last 20 min of thier visit I feel this is to much up heavel for kids especialy on school nights Have i got rights to limit visits to only when he is available ?
Carly - 21-Nov-17 @ 1:13 PM
I am seeking some advice as my ex husband has gone against a child arrangement order. He has been telling lies about me and to our daughter, she is 4yrs old and he tell her that I am a bad mammy, naughty and the police will take me away. After reporting me to the police on numerous occasions to all of which have been refuted as they are lies. Social services and the school have no issues with nor has cafcass. I was due to have her Monday Tuesday and Wednesday nights but he's not allowed it. I am taking him back to court due to a decline in his health as he has a spinal disease and needs to have 3discs removed from his neck. He has said that if he doesn't have this operation he could be paralysed within 6mths! He is totally obsessed with me and the fact we have broken up. He is dictating when and how I contact her but she's saying she misses me and loves me. He is using my past against me to control me as this is all he can do against me.
Holla - 20-Nov-17 @ 5:01 PM
Mike - Your Question:
My ex has a new partner with a long history of domestic violence and disorderly conduct. Is there anyway I can stop my child from being introduced to this man without have to change our custody agreement? I don't want to take any time away from my daughter with my ex. I had been told about this mans history and decided to look him up on public record and the history is true.

Our Response:
You can consider applying for a Prohibited Steps Order as detailed in the above article. Sarah's law allows you to get a background check done which should enable you to make a decision on whether to apply for a PSO. Talk to your ex first, she may be willing to restrict her time with the new partner to those times when her daughter is with you (elsewhere etc)
LawAndParents - 17-Nov-17 @ 12:34 PM
My ex has a new partner with a long history of domestic violence and disorderly conduct. Is there anyway I can stop my child from being introduced to this man without have to change our custody agreement? I don't want to take any time away from my daughter with my ex. I had been told about this mans history and decided to look him up on public record and the history is true.
Mike - 16-Nov-17 @ 2:43 PM
My current partner has been separated (not divorced ) from her husband for about a year and a half. And have separate homes. I have been friends with her for several years prior and they have 2 kids together. He has moved on and has a girlfriend who she herself has two children. All of which spend time together with her kids and theirs. He has recently found out that me and his ex (mother of he children ) are dating, he has banned me from being allowed anywhere near their children or having any contact with them at all, he has been able to give no reason for this other then he just doesn’t want me to, me and the kids get on and never had any issues other then when he has told them they will be in trouble for even being at the same event, park or anything to do with me so they get scared to be around me. My partner and mother of them has tried to reassure them that they are not together and he has no reason to say what he does , that I am not a threat and they are not doing anything wrong in wanting to play a game or say hello or be at the same place as me. I have never tried to get in the way of their parenting and have always kept in my place within that. I hate that the kids are being used against me and that they are the ones getting hurt I’m this, especially when my partner has been ok with him and his new partner and the other kids all spending time together and has no idea who the woman is. Where does she stand on this, what can be done, I know it’s not fair that he has involved other kids and a new partner and does what he likes but I who have been a friend and known by the kids for a few years and they know I am safe is getting banned and being spoken about so badly that they kids don’t know what to do. What is right and wrong in this ?
Jack - 15-Nov-17 @ 2:44 PM
Callo123 - Your Question:
She is now pregnant with my unborn baby within theses four months but her ex is going to court against me to stop be being around his kids and I love them all is there nothing I can do please need advice

Our Response:
If the children's father does take this to court, the judge will consider all the circumstances and what is best/safe for the children.
LawAndParents - 15-Nov-17 @ 2:07 PM
She is now pregnant with my unborn baby within theses four months but her ex is going to court against me to stop be being around his kids and I love them all is there nothing I can do please need advice
Callo123 - 14-Nov-17 @ 2:44 PM
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