One way to move on from the hurt and anguish of a divorce is to start dating again. But, if the thought of your ex-spouse moving on makes you a little squeamish, you're not alone -- especially if cheating was involved in your marriage.
Worst yet, you may feel most uncomfortable with the idea of your children calling another person "Mom" or "Dad." Here's when you can do something about it.
Why does this person make me uncomfortable?
The first question to consider is what threat this person poses. If your ex is dating someone who has a track record of violence, behaves recklessly or has otherwise proven themselves emotionally or physically unstable, their presence may endanger your children. This could be a legitimate reason to petition the court for a child custody modification.
However, if this person is using adult language, influencing your child's religious beliefs or otherwise behaving in a way that you believe to be a bad influence on your child, it's not likely that these opinions can amount to any action.
Which of my child's best interests matter?
Some have made the argument that a parent's frequent dating could negatively impact the way children learn to view relationship dedication. However, it would be unfair to say that one parent's opinions on parenting should be enforced over the other's -- unless the other parent has lost his or her parental rights in court.
The courts value the involvement of both parents in a child's upbringing. So, when considering whether the other parent is meeting the child's best interests, the courts are only like to take action if the following needs are being neglected:
- Reasonable living accommodations
- Sufficient food and water
What can I do if I am worried about my child's safety?
If the necessities above are not being met on account of your ex-spouse or whomever he or she has left to care for your kids, an experienced Family Law attorney can help explain your options. In some situations, a child custody modification may be in order to restrict or limit your ex-spouses' access to your children.
Talk to a lawyer to learn more about how your unique circumstances might hold up in court. If you have a viable claim, an attorney can help you build your position to fight for the best outcome possible.