How Can I Protect My Kids From My Ex-Wife’s Boyfriend?

child custodyQuestion:

My ex-wife recently started dating again. Several people have warned me that the man she is seeing has a reputation for being a heavy drinker and having a volatile temper.

I asked my ex-wife about these rumors, but she blew them off as gossip. However, after searching his name I discovered he was arrested for child abuse about a year ago.

Even though I’ve told my ex that I am not comfortable with him being around our kids, she still has him over during her parenting time. She downplays the magnitude of the situation and claims I am trying to control her dating life.

All I care about is our kids. Is there anything I can do to keep them safe?

Answer:

While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I am licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and can give you some general guidance with respect to this issue.

Here, this issue is definitely something worth investigating and pursuing and I strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney immediately before the issue goes unattended to for too long and the court sees your inaction as acquiescence.

Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Maura Boogay
Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Maura Boogay

Petitions to limit the presence of a significant other are going to be reviewed with heightened scrutiny because the court wants to ensure it’s not a situation where a scorned ex wants to control the other party’s dating life.

Having said that, knowing that this gentlemen has a child abuse history is concerning and you need to know more information: how often is he around your children, how do they feel about him, how serious is his pending charge, will it involve jail time, probation, etc.? That will help you determine the extent to which you should go to pursue this issue.

Also, you have done the right thing trying to talk to opposing party about this directly in an attempt to work this out. The court often wants to see attempts to co-parent to resolve issues out of court and you now have this; note, it is a plus if you have written record of this conversation such as emails or texts.

The opposing party needs to at least agree not to let him around the children until his criminal case is resolved and then it can be revisited. Surely when you have the children she can see her significant other. Like I said, I encourage you to consult with counsel to determine the best way to proceed.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Maura Boogay, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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