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Can I Stop my Children Meeting my Husbands' Partner?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
Children Access Prohibited Steps Order


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)


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 ex of about 4 years has been seeing someone for about 3/4 months. Recently I found out from my 7 year old daughter he was basically living with them and my ex was leaving my daughter alone with him regularly. I raised some concerns with my ex about this as i dont know him or anything about him but she refuses to give me any info other than a first name, no surname or anything else (on his insistence I believe). Is there anything I can do to find out anything about him as she is refusing to tell me anything?
Mat - 11-Oct-20 @ 10:37 PM
my ex was cheating for a year behind my back and brought home an STD. She even brought our child to the man's house to cheat on me. Social services are involved becauseshe was beating him. This guy is a bad guy from all the stories I've heard, his underaged daughter was also raped while he was downstairs watching football, basically he let a man she met on thd Internet upstairs with her. When she confessed what happened he went berserk and blamed her and refused to let her go to the police. He went to work and she tried to kill herself. Anyway social services were informed but see no reason he can't be around my kid. I've had my solicitor apply for this, fingers crossed.
Benis - 23-Sep-20 @ 1:46 PM
My ex asked for videochatting with our son. I was like okay and asked if he wants to chat now.We got on videochat and was about to bring our child over when he decided to bring his girlfriend on screen so I hung up because he didn't inform me first that there would be someone else.I felt disrespected. He said i don't need my approval when he is the one asking to speak with our son. I think he should give me a heads up..
Keke - 12-Sep-20 @ 11:06 AM
This message forwarded to Bella, I read your comment, never send your little one with the stranger, it is your right to know who is she, and what is she before sending your baby with her. I'm happy for you, keep up the good work, sure you will be a very good and special mother to your baby. Take care of your self and your daughter Bella. Regards Khadi
Khadi - 28-Mar-20 @ 7:43 AM
I was 4 months pregnant when I found out my ex was cheating he torture me mentally being in a relationship that I went true depression even do my daughter now 5 months now I m suffering big with anxiety he keeps tellingme to have the baby over I haven’t stopped him from seeing her but I just really want in my termsas he and his family and new girl harassed me my all pregnancy he even use to steal from me and my baby still breastfeedingbut he keeps saying that no I have to give him the baby my heart can’t take all off this drama what should I do
Welwell - 27-Jan-20 @ 6:09 AM
my ex partner of 8 months has a new girlfriend they’ve been together for a year as it was happening behind my back. I’ve safe guarding issues with her being around my child she’s a psychopath and seen and heard a lot of bad things about her. Would I be able to stop her from being around my son on the one day per week my son spends time with his father or do I have no choice?
Daniellemason - 8-Nov-19 @ 11:33 PM
Been split with my ex-partner for about 3yrs, over the last coming yrs alone she has introduced my children to three different men ,who she thinks is exceptable to stay at the home, two of which in the last month, my concern is that my children are learning that relationships easy come easy go, am I wrong in thinking this, is there anything I should do about it
Glyn - 21-Oct-19 @ 4:19 PM
My situation is different but my ex wife and her partner have had a nightmare with my older child aged 13 a girl not accepting him . Physical fights and tv smashed to the floor by him . It’s now been resolved as she is aware any more trouble as the police have visited 5 times she would be arrested . This has now turned into the model step daughter over night . Is it the police threat or just she has turned a corner ? I think the police threat is more like it .
Jimbo - 14-Sep-19 @ 5:06 PM
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V - 25-Aug-19 @ 1:16 PM
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Bella - 16-Aug-19 @ 8:12 PM
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SusieKM - 17-Jul-19 @ 12:49 AM
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Dawn - 16-Jul-19 @ 8:42 AM
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Scared - 29-Jun-19 @ 12:14 PM
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Mother - 17-Jun-19 @ 4:43 AM
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Lillie - 13-Jun-19 @ 10:56 AM
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Kel - 2-Jun-19 @ 8:17 AM
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Shellz - 1-Jun-19 @ 11:37 PM
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Bigdad5 - 29-May-19 @ 9:36 PM
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Betty - 27-May-19 @ 9:08 PM
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
My ex and I split up 2 years ago and have a 3 year old daughter. We remained great friends up until he got a new girlfriend, moved in with her and her child after 1 month and he changed dramatically. Cut down his own hours with his daughter, showed up late, wanted to bring her home early. Very minimum effort. Hes been with her 4 months and wont stop pestering me to introduce his daughter to his new girlfriend, I have said to wait until 6 months but hes making arrangements that I dont agree to and feel like I'm being backed into a corner. Is there any legal advice I could get? I'm not saying never, just not now.
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
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
I am a father of two under 5s (4 and 2) registered the birth with their mother and have had a shared custodial arrangement for the kids where they live with me three nights and the mother the rest. Although I am usually present at my ex's most days of her custody of them to aid with childcare, bed and overnight.I have started dating again and the mother is being very restrictive on them seeing her despite the fact I have been dating her for several months now and recently booked a night away for Valentine's with her. Admittedly it is a night I would normally have the kids at mine but I have arranged for their Nan to have them overnight and she has the children most Saturdays while I work. My ex is refusing to let them spend the night with the nan, arguing over me staying away the night but refuses to have them herself for the night. Just wondering what my rights are regarding what control she has over what the kids can do while under my care or am I being unreasonable?
Milamber25 - 4-Feb-19 @ 11:01 AM
I know this may sound strange so let me start by saying my husband and I are completely on our daughter in laws side and want what best for our 6 year old grandson! My son has repeatedly cheated on my daughter in law, most recent he left her & immediately moved in with the other woman, but told her he was living with a male friend. Not knowing that he was living with the other woman 11 days after they split up, he had their child for the weekend visit (no court order), when my grandson came home he told his mother and us that he stayed at his Daddy's girlfriend's house, that he had to sleep with the girlfriends female friend the first night & on the couch the second night, in which he woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't find his Daddy, then found his daddy in a bed with this other woman that was only wearing a tank top and panties! Him and his girlfriend are both abusing alcohol daily & through another mutual party have been using cocaine! Last month my son had a major car wreck and was arrested for DUI, thank the Lord he's still alive!He is 25 his girlfriend is 46! She has a history of Assault/Family & Domestic Violence arrests! My question is can my daughter in law get some legal help to keep the child from being exposed to his Daddy's girlfriend's & to stop visitation until a court order is in effect?
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
My wife’s brother has two criminal convictions and spent time in prison. He is an aggressive bully and now has threatened me twice. Once by text and most recently a very disgusting tirade of abuse at Boxing Day. I want to stop my wife taking my 3 year old son near this man. My son had to witness the most recent verbal threats and was visibly frightened. Unfortunately my wife has no regard for the impact of this and wants to take him to a family wedding where this man will be present. I am scared he will inimitade my son or try and get at me by hurting my son. This man has physically abused his sister (my wife) and attacked other family members at a previous family event. I have not reported this to the police to avoid unnecessary drama. I am happy to just avoid this unstable individual but my wife will not agree to keeping my son away. What can I do about this ? And if need be I will report this to the police and I will also take necessary legal action in respect of our rather fractured relationship.
Ak - 28-Dec-18 @ 6:21 PM
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