The "Significant Other" Is Sleeping Over When My Kids Are Around!

Whether your divorce came out of an affair or your ex has a new beau/belle, it can be extremely frustrating to know your kids' visitation overlaps with your ex's dating life. Is there anything you can do to stop that?

You can prevent your ex's significant other from staying overnight when the kids are there in temporary orders and a final decree. The court's orders include a parenting plan and that can come either out of negotiation between the parties or by the judge's orders. The parenting plan can certainly include instructions related to people surrounding the child.

I have written clauses into parenting plans that limit who can stay the night while the kids are in the home. The language usually includes some limitation, such as "no non-related adult may stay in the home overnight while the children are there." This means if your ex remarries then the new spouse can stay over, and relatives can stay over, but no one beyond that.

Assuming your parenting plan does not include that kind of limitation, your options are more limited. However, if rotating sexual partners is an issue, there is case law that says kids' exposure to that environment could qualify you for a modification of visitation. Talk to an attorney to see if you meet the threshold requirements to alter your parenting plan and include limiting language for new partners.

As a practical matter, judges in my county (Williamson) tend to frown on a conservator bringing in unmarried significant others, but look favorably upon new marriages that might add stability. Whether your county generally tracks with Williamson or not, an attorney might be able to add the kind of limiting language you want.