Enforcing father’s rights includes the right to protect your children. Just because your kids don’t live with you doesn’t mean you can’t be there for them. It also doesn’t mean that every decision by Mom is going to be a “correct” decision (although she certainly will tell you that).
Especially her decision on her next guy.
You have the right to know about EVERY person who’s around your children. That includes teachers, bus drivers, doctors, friends – and Mom’s new boyfriend. She’ll tell you that “who she dates is none of your business.” That’s true.
Unless he’s around your children.
Unless he’s doing family-type activities with your children.
Unless he’s sleeping under the same roof at night with your children.
Then it absolutely IS your business.
Some frightening statistics from a Associate Press article, posted on Yahoo.com (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071118/ap_on_re_us/child_abuse;_ylt=Al_CtWVxIw7_63DaN_j0P8EDW7oF):
“However, there are many other studies that, taken together, reinforce the concerns. Among the findings:
_Children living in households with unrelated adults are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with two biological parents, according to a study of Missouri abuse reports published in the journal of the American of Pediatrics in 2005. Academy
_Children living in stepfamilies or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault than children living with two biological or adoptive parents, according to several studies co-authored by David Finkelhor, director of the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center.
_Girls whose parents divorce are at significantly higher risk of sexual assault, whether they live with their mother or their father, according to research by Robin Wilson, a family law professor at Washington and Lee.” University
You can ask her for name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the guy. A huge amount of information can be obtained with just 2 of these 3 pieces of data. If she won’t tell you this information, you can get ask the court for an order for her to tell you. If you have to do this, ask for her to pay your attorney’s fees.
What if she denies having a boyfriend? Get witnesses who have seen her and him together. Get schoolwork from the kids that mention him. Like the “what I did last weekend” kinds of homework, where the kids say they watched videos with Billy or whatever his name is.
From the same article referenced above:
“Oscar Jimenez Jr., the San Jose, Calif., boy found buried under cement and fertilizer, did have a biological father who was devoted to him. But the father, Oscar Sr., separated from Oscar Jr.’s mother in 2002 and was prevented from seeing his son in the weeks before the boy’s death in February, allegedly from a beating by live-in boyfriend and ex-convict Samuel Corona.”
It should be noted that nowhere in the article – and the article contains at least half a dozen suggestions to address the problem – is it mentioned that court orders for the parenting time rights of non-custodial fathers be strictly enforced.
And remember: the issue is NOT whether she has a boyfriend. The issue is getting information about someone who is around your children. Hey, it might even be her new girlfriend! HER relationship with the new “significant other” isn’t the point. The point is your right to know the background of anyone who is around your kids. And the statistics above show why this is important.