Sharing custody with your ex can be very difficult. You have to see them several times a week, which opens the door to arguments or annoying humblebrags as they try to show off how happy they are now. You also have to clean up the messes they make, like letting the children stay up way past curfew on their weekend visit, thereby sabotaging their Monday morning pre-school routine at your house.
Generally speaking, you have very little control over what your ex does during their parenting time. However, sometimes their actions may cross a line and really upset you. They may start bringing their new romantic love interest, possibly even their former affair partner, around to spend time with your children. Even worse, that person may provide childcare, spending time alone with your kids. Can you prevent that from happening?
You can request custody terms that protect your kids
A Virginia family law judge making a decision in a custody matter where parents don’t agree will always have to focus on what is best for the children. There are certain custody arrangements that can minimize how frequently your ex will leave the children alone with someone else that will benefit the children.
For example, you can request the right of first refusal for parenting time. If your ex cannot be physically present, they would then need to offer you the right to take the children before making any kind of childcare arrangements. Another option would be to create a specific list of approved child care providers and require that your ex adhere to that.
Can you keep a new love interest away completely?
Generally speaking, there is no practical way to prevent your ex from introducing your children to whomever they date. However, in certain cases, the courts may agree that an individual presents a risk to your children.
Someone with a documented substance abuse issue or who has already lost custody of their own children for neglect could endanger your children. If you have evidence about misconduct or dangerous behavior by this person, that could influence the courts’ decisions.
Keeping your perspective on what is best for the children will increase your chances of success when negotiating or attempting to update custody arrangements.