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Can I Stop my Children Meeting my Husbands' Partner?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 18 Jul 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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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
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 bail Now 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 call And I m scared that what if she don’t let me celebrate her birthday also Any 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 ground My partner already been divorced and have 2 kids from there Elder kid was 11 and small was 9 she was not right with her elder one so her dad took away from her Now that child is totally spoil too Kindly 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 her Thanks
Denis - 3-Jun-18 @ 5:22 AM
My husband and I have been physically separated for a little over a year. He met a woman at work and they began to have an affair so he moved out when he got caught. The woman found out he is married, but continued to see him due to his lies of saying he was divorcing me. At the time we only had a daughter who was in 2nd grade when he moved out. While he has been out of the house we welcomed a son and he promised to come back home and end his affair. That didn't happen and the woman is demanding to be a part of our children's lives. I don't feel that she should be apart of their lives until he divorces me because introducing her to my children could cause some psychological damage & confusion especially if the divorce never happens. This woman has 3 kids of her own. Two are grown and one is in highschool and a juvenile delinquent who attends an alternative school & despises my husband. If her child knew he is married, I'm sure there would be more problems. I'm wanting to file for legal separation, but I fear that my husband will use it as a way to take our kids around his gf and her son. I fear for my children who are 9 and 3 months old because I don't know what she will do out of spite for me and what her son will do out of spite for my husband. Is there anything I can do to make sure my babies are protected?
Lynn - 1-Jun-18 @ 7:04 PM
I was with my partner for nearly 10 years..we had a 5.5 year old at time I found put I was pregnant again.. when I told my partner this he told me he was levibg me as was having affair with woman who only got marroed 8weeks prior.. he never helped or got involved on the whole pregnancy.he mentally and emotionally abused me by coming back constantly wanting to work it out. he stressed me that much I ended up with placenta abruption.. lucky the doctors were great.. this new woman is crazy.. I've heard guards were called for her by her now ex and she has also hit my ex.. he takes my youngest every sat for 3 hours and is constantly having her around the girlfriend.. I don't want this at all.. she is a physco.. no matter how many times a ask him to respect me and what I ask he calls me crazy..how can i stop this.. he doesn't respect me at all.. I've never stopped him seeing his kids I jus don't want her around my kids ..
ktt - 26-May-18 @ 12:45 PM
Me and my ex split he cheated and left me for a stripper I went out in town and one of my friends got into a fight with the strippers sister and it led to her father king hitting me (going through charges now) I’ve gottne numerous threatening messages and even had them come to my house and slash my tyres he lives at home with his mum they both do drugs and he sells them. I want him to see the kids but I don’t want them associated with that family. We’re going to mediation Can I put it in paper ? If he signs them
Aa - 24-May-18 @ 11:15 PM
My partners are moving in together,despite my partner asking to see their children on lots of occasions she has dismissed visitation saying they have plans. His ex has sent him an email with specifics before she allows him to have the childrenin the future. 1. Wants the address 2. List of people who will be in the house(living arrangements) while his children visit. Including my ex’s name as he drops my children off occasionally! 3 she doesn’t want them left alone in a room with my children, strangers (people she doesn’t know clearly)my partner should be present at all times. 4 that she wants to be kept up to date during visitation of their well-being Allowed to talk to children as and when she wants and likewise they can contact her. What is your advice?
Jheves - 23-May-18 @ 3:44 PM
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
I was in a serious relationship for 2 years and we broke up almost 2 years back. My boyfriend cheated on me, he ignore me for several months and left me with nothing, i could not get over him as the reason for break up was he fell in love with someone else at his work place,. after few months of depression and sadness. I feel used and miss him a lot. I tried to make up with him multiple times, trying to talk to him but everything failed and I don’t know what to do. He told me that he has stopped thinking about me, I tried to act normal, I feel confused and worse because I end up seeing him everyday. It just bugs me that he has moved on pretty quickly and I am feeling rejected and dejected. but i am happy today that GREAT MUTABA brought my boyfriend back, I am so happy, Now my boyfriend is all mine again. I'm happy again Great help from Great Mutaba, I truly believe in him and his work. he is a professional. I really enjoyed the result which i got, his love spell is marvelous, he is truly gifted, his love spell has brought me happiness, I am extremely pleased, it worked, he has the most powerful love spell, I recommend anyone who need his or her Ex-lover back should search GREAT MUTABA on google or search him anywhere he is Very trustworthy..
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
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