Can my wife keep my children from spending the night with me if I live with an alcoholic?

Divorce attorney Jason BowmanQuestion:

My wife and I have been separated for a while and I am living with my parents while she stays in the marital home. My wife will not let me have my daughter spend the night with me since my father is an alcoholic and she doesn’t want the child around him.

Can my wife keep my daughter from spending the night with me because she doesn’t like that my dad drinks?


First, let me state that I am not licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania, although Cordell & Cordell does have attorneys who are licensed in Pennsylvania that would be happy to discuss your case with you.

Certainly in all divorces parents usually want what is best for their children, but sometimes one parent will become overprotective of the children. You and your wife are both parents to your daughter and she should defer to your parental decisions when your daughter is in your care.

If you are present in the home with your daughter, then it really should not matter that your father is present, but keep in mind that if the Court is to decide custody, in most states they use a “best interest” standard to determine custody. It may be possible that your wife would attempt to use your father’s drinking as you exposing the children to this type of behavior.

You should consult an attorney in your jurisdiction to determine how you should proceed with your divorce.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kent., office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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