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Can I Stop my Children Meeting my Husbands' Partner?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 26 Nov 2020 | 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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Me and my daughters father broke up a month ago, I ended things due to not being happy anymore as he caused me a great amount of stress which may I add, I am currently pregnant with his second child so I didn’t want myself to be going through such toxic stress whilst carrying my baby also I didn’t want my daughter having to be around the arguments. So within the 24 hours of us splitting up he was back with his ex from 4 years ago who he also shares a child with. His ex who is now his partner is nothing but a compulsive liar, she is toxic, she is an unfit mother as I have seen situations with my own 2 eyes for example when we use to pick his son up his son was basically neglected, his nails were always thick with dirt, he has nits every single time, I’d get rid of them and the following weekend he would have them again (he wasn’t in nursery at this time). His clothes were never clean and she’d turn her phone off when it came to the day of getting him back also on one occasion his bottom was that sore it was bleeding and cut. My ex sat and told me absolutely loads of things about his ex but now that he is back with her he is saying that my daughter will have to be around her also she is saying the same thing. I don’t ever want anyone like that around my children also I don’t want strangers around them either. I will go to the end of the earth for my children. Each and every time I am trying to get somewhere with this and explain to him that she won’t be present in my children’slife he jumps the gun and threatens me. I feel like I am constantly going around in circles. It’s frustrating and draining for me.
Clisa - 26-Oct-20 @ 2:25 PM
Me and my daughters father broke up a month ago, I ended things due to not being happy anymore as he caused me a great amount of stress which may I add, I am currently pregnant with his second child so I didn’t want myself to be going through such toxic stress whilst carrying my baby also I didn’t want my daughter having to be around the arguments. So within the 24 hours of us splitting up he was back with his ex from 4 years ago who he also shares a child with. His ex who is now his partner is nothing but a compulsive liar, she is toxic, she is an unfit mother as I have seen situations with my own 2 eyes for example when we use to pick his son up his son was basically neglected, his nails were always thick with dirt, he has nits every single time, I’d get rid of them and the following weekend he would have them again (he wasn’t in nursery at this time). His clothes were never clean and she’d turn her phone off when it came to the day of getting him back also on one occasion his bottom was that sore it was bleeding and cut. My ex sat and told me absolutely loads of things about his ex but now that he is back with her he is saying that my daughter will have to be around her also she is saying the same thing. I don’t ever want anyone like that around my children also I don’t want strangers around them either. I will go to the end of the earth for my children. Each and every time I am trying to get somewhere with this and explain to him that she won’t be present in my children’slife he jumps the gun and threatens me. I feel like I am constantly going around in circles. It’s frustrating and draining for me.
Clisa - 26-Oct-20 @ 1:51 PM
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
My husbands ex has told my husband that their son isn't allowed to see me any more after I called her out on a string of neglectful behaviour and said were considering applying for custody if it doesn't improve. She is a well known alcoholic and drug addict. She's been told that one more drink will kill her. So we were hoping she'd sort herself out. But every time we see his son he's dirty, smelly and this last time he was infested with MONTHS worth of nits. Which he transferred to all of us, including our 4 month old baby! She knew full well he had nits but didn't tell us. She also knew full well that my baby was born with a thick head of hair. She has been involved with social services for worrying behaviour reported by the school, her own father and countless anonymous reports. So I know if we wanted full custody it wouldn't be a problem. But we don't want to go down that rout unless absolutely necessary. I wanted to know how visitation rights worked. Obviously she has no right to stop him seeing me as I pose no threat or detrement to him. But wanted to know, if we went through the court, would we have to do it each time we wanted to see him or is it a one time thing? Also, how is it upheld? Can she refuse after a court has made a decision? Its all really messy and I just want to know what our options are. Also, is it expensive?
V - 25-Aug-19 @ 1:16 PM
I split up with my ex before I knew I was pregnant and he had since moved on and got a new partner. I was 26 weeks when I found out I was expecting and he had only been with his partner for a few months. By the time my little one was born they had been together 5 months. My baby was very poorly initially and had to spend time in NICU. All of this was very traumatic and hard to cope with. The same day she was born he wanted his partner whom I had never met to come into the hospital I said no. He kept asking and I kept saying no. I didn't need a stranger in my life at that time. I sent her a message to ask if we could meet once we was home and settled. She was very hostile with me, which obviously was very distressing for me. My little one is now a yr old and we still haven't met the partner. I am not happy for my little one to go off with someone i don't know. I have asked to meet her but she won't meet me but expects to just have my baby. He now wants to take me to mediation because I won't agree to just letting my baby go off with him and his girlfriend. Am I wrong in wanting to meet the partner before my baby is in her care? I feel I am being a responsible parent by wanting to know who is looking after my 1yr old.
Bella - 16-Aug-19 @ 8:12 PM
Split from ex recently, knew he was getting close to my female friend who is also the mother of my 7 year olds best friend. During my 7 year olds sleep over, he has returned to say that he was in the room next door (his bedroom at dads) while his dad and female friend were in his bed, childs best friend in another room that has been made theirs.Both kids are already suffering, mine already has issues incl emotional dysregulation, i am concerned for him and do not want him sleeping there or having any contact with new girlfriend. i find what they have done selfish to the kids.Am i being unreasonable and do i have a say on access rights if I dont think it is in my childs interest? understand he should see dad
SusieKM - 17-Jul-19 @ 12:49 AM
I had an affair for a year then left my husband to be with this man, because it was my fault I left him with the house and my 2 children then 13 and 15 decided to stay with there dad, I see them every day and they stay over 2 nights a week, they didn’t know about me seeing someone else. I have now been with this man for a year and we have been living together for 5 months, my kids still come and stay 2 nights a week but they won’t come down stairs when my partner is home, this is now having an effect on my relationship because he feels like our home isn’t his, he shuts himself away so the kids don’t feel uncomfortable but it’s making him uncomfortable, he’s now saying when the children come to stay he will go stay at his mums, I can’t have that because I feel that would not do are relationship any good. Both my daughter now 16 and my son nearly 15 won’t speak to him, see him, and even like I said before won’t be around him.
Dawn - 16-Jul-19 @ 8:42 AM
Im at my wits end. My husband had an affair which I have known of for almost 6 yrs. From that he has an 8yr old boy who he occasionally sees. We live under the same roof and still try and be the best parents we can to our 11yr old daughter. I have never been interested in what he gets up to in his private life as long as it doesn't encroach on me or my daughter.However recently things have obviously taken a bitter turn between the boys mother and him ( dont know details) but she has bipolar disorder and for whatever reason she has turned her anger on me. I can cope with the comments to me...I just ignore them, but today she sent a card with a very disturbing printed message to my daughter. Fortunately I had a funny feeling and opened it myself. My daughter doesn't know about her son I made that dicision a long time ago when i found out about this women's family. Her and at least her older daughter are or at least have been into drugs. Its just not the kind of family I would let my daughter get mixed up with. The card tells my daughter she has a brother. And that her dad has a girlfriend theres also quite a lot in there thats just not true. Its writen in a very abrasive tone and would have devestated my daughter. To my mind she has absolutely no right to disclose this information to my daughter. How would she feel if I wrote something similar to her boy...telling him how he was conceived after a couple of conversations and a glass or two of wine!! Not that I would dream of that, hes a child who in there right mind would. But where do I stand legally? Please help ...I have a feeling she wont stop.
Scared - 29-Jun-19 @ 12:14 PM
I've been married 4 years. Weve had our issues which has caused my wife to have trust issues (no infidelity), she has moved back to her hometown as we agreed to find us a place to live while I sort out things here so we can begin a new life etc. Well she has this friend that's obviously gotten in her head about the trust issues because now my wife has decided to end the marriage without even talking to me about it. The 'friend' has no children has never been married and doesn't know the extent of the issues regarding the trust issues she just sees it for face value and has convinced my vulnerable confused stressed out wife it's in her best interests to end the relationship before we've had a chance in the new city we planned on moving to..... Obviously this woman has been around my son and I'm not convinced that she is the type of person I want around my son at all. Her actions have made my wife's attitude towards my relationship with my son become non important so I've now been struggling to get contact with him. Do I have the right to say that I don't want this woman around my son
Mother - 17-Jun-19 @ 4:43 AM
Me and my ex spilt 3 weeks ago we have 3 children aged 8,5 and 5 months old he had a affair whilst I was heavily pregnant and continued to after i had our baby, after I’ve found out about the affair he’s gone to move in with the other woman, and has mentioned a lot about bringing our children to meet this woman, which in my eyes now is not the right time he’s been having a affair since October but only been living with her for now even 3 weeks is there anything I can do to stop my children meeting her this soon ?
Lillie - 13-Jun-19 @ 10:56 AM
Hello, Looking for some advice, Little background- my ex emotionally abused me many years ago, I finally had the courage and strength to leave. Four years we have been split we have a 7 and 5 year old. He got into a new relationship was with her almost three years, however their relationship was very very toxic, they were toxic to each other, violence, verbal abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse which had a detrimental affect on my children’s emotional and mental well being as you could imagine. She left him with his child best thing she ever did my children started to become more happy n relaxed n chilled out etc. then he decided to work his way back to me I told him no. I fear he has gone back to her which is fine but I can not have my children around them two ever again. And advice on this would greatly appreciated.
Kel - 2-Jun-19 @ 8:17 AM
Today I have been physically attacked by my ex husband girlfriend on picking up my children. She did this in front of my 2 children and there is also video evidence. I would like to know where I stand in preventing her from having any contact with my children as I fear for their safety if she can do that to me in front of them. What would my first steps be etc.
Shellz - 1-Jun-19 @ 11:37 PM
My wife left me in October 2018, I have custody of our children. She has recently started to date someone she says she knows from years ago, I'm not sure if this is the case, and to be honest I'm not really bothered if she is seeing someone. My problem is, she took the kids for the day, and he was at her flat, this was the first time they were meeting him, and while she prepared their tea, she allowed him to take my children to the local park, I am unhappy that she has done this, and was wondering if I have any grounds to not allow them to be solely in his care, I get that if she is with him, they will see him from time to time, but their time with her is supposed to be with her, and not packing them off with a complete stranger, which he is, regardless of whether she has known him a long time or not. Please advise me, thanks.
Bigdad5 - 29-May-19 @ 9:36 PM
My ex has got a new partner whose had her kids taken of her for neglect. He wants our young children to meet her and I've said no but he thinks he has every right to. What do I do
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
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