Stop the Ex’s Partner From Seeing the Kids
Written by: Stefano Ceroni
Do you want to stop the ex’s partner from seeing the kids? We understand.
In fact, whether or not a court will actually stop the ex’s partner from seeing the kids is one of the most frequently asked questions we get from our divorce clients.
In Arizona, there are no specific laws prohibiting a parent from raising children as he or she sees fit. In fact, the United States Constitution has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include an expressed protected right for parents when it comes to the decisions they make regarding their kids. This right includes a parent’s choice as to who they wish to bring around the kids.
The catch, however, is that after parents split-up and move-on, they often find new partners that their exes don’t like. So then the predicament becomes this: Whose parental rights win out? Does the parent who wants their new partner to be around their child win or does the ex who objects win?
The simple answer: The parent wanting the new partner to be around the child usually wins.
Arizona law allows each parent the right to make reasonable and routine decisions about their children while the kids are in their respective care. This means that once you and your spouse go your separate ways, there is not a whole lot you can do to stop the ex’s partner from seeing the kids when it’s not your designated parenting time.
Although this may seem unfair, remember the rule applies both ways. Just as you might not be allowed to interfere with your ex’s partner from being around your children, your ex can’t prevent you from doing the same thing.
The one exception?
If your ex’s partner is someone with a history of domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse or has been convicted of any crime related to child abuse or mistreatment, that person likely will not be allowed to spend time with your children.
To give you more context, scroll through your old DVD collection and take a look at two contrasting movies: (1) Stepmom and (2) Domestic Disturbance. If your ex’s new gal-pal acts like the Julia Roberts character in Stepmom, you’re probably going to have a tough time in court trying to have her kicked out of your children’s lives. On the other hand, if your ex-wife’s new boy-toy is anything like the Vince Vaughn character in Domestic Disturbance, chances are the Courts won’t look kindly on him living with your kids.