I am concerned about the person my Ex is dating; Can I modify my child custody orders to keep this person away from my child?

You have been divorced for a few years and your child comes home after a visit with their dad and reports “daddy has a new girlfriend.”  You start asking questions like the person’s name, what they look like, what they did, etc.  You find out the new girlfriend spent the entire visitation weekend there, including overnights.  You contact your ex to find out who this person is and if there is anything you should be concerned about.  However, your ex refuses to tell you and instead tells you to stay out of their life and that it is none of your business.

Whether or not you can modify your final orders to keep away the new paramour will depend upon a few factors.  For starters, a modification carries a burden of “material and significant change” in circumstances, the parties or child AND the modification must be in the best interest of the child.  In most cases, the judge will not keep the new paramour away from your child because they are not viewed as a danger to your child.  The key is going to be exactly why you are concerned with the new paramour.  If your case is one in which the new paramour absolutely should not be around your child then you will want a stay away order.  For instance, if the new paramour is a registered sex offender, introduced your ex to controlled substances, has an extensive criminal history some of which involves crimes against a child, or your child does not want to be around this person because they make them uncomfortable (there will need to be elaboration on this) or anything of that nature then you would want to consult with an attorney and seek a modification.

The important thing to know is that this paramour is not a party to your suit—therefore, in not being a party, they cannot be ordered to do anything and if they are it will not be enforceable.  Rather, if you are going to get orders having the paramour not be present, it is important to request an injunction from your ex allowing this person to be present or near your child.

We have dealt with this issue in our office multiple times and we are experienced to assist you. Contact Guest & Gray today to schedule your appointment.