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originallawyer
originallawyer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 350
Experience:  5+ years of experience in divorce, custody battles and mediation.
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I recently broke up with my fiance and we have 2 kids together

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I recently broke up with my fiance and we have 2 kids together (one 6-years-old, one 9 months old). We were together for 8 years. His cheating on me ended our relationship in February and in April he moved in with the woman he cheated with me on. She has 5 children (teenaged), engages is marijuana use, and showed up at our home at 2 am in the beginning of our break up to "make him choose". He called her "crazy" on at least two occasions in the beginning of our breakup...only to recently admit that he's in love with her. When I pressed him about wanting our kids around someone he said was crazy his response was that "she wouldn't act like that around the kids".

He wants our children to stay with him every now and then. When we were together we disagreed about child rearing--mostly due to our differences in upbringing. The disgagreements usually centered on age-appropriate movies, activities, and when children should be watched by older children instead of their parents. However, he overall cared for our kids, eventually abided my requests, and seemed to be striving to be a good dad.

He doesn't have his own car, makes little money, but seems to want to be a part of our children's life. He's made a lot of questionable choices recently (he got drunk with her one night and the both called me...essentially demanding that they be allowed to come over and talk about our situation) Should I let our kids visit him at his new girlfriend's house? I don't want to but our 6-year-old doesn't know his father as anything more than the great dad he was and I don't want to keep him out of their life because of my anger at his choices.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  originallawyer replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon:

Sadly, your situation is not uncommon. Here's what you should consider doing:

1. Right now, you have no legal requirement to allow him to see your children at his girlfriend's house. He cannot legally demand that. If you want, you can let him see them when you are supervising, or during the day while they do an activity together.

2. You should consider getting a court order that outlines custody agreements. A Judge can take into account his new living situation, and they may agree with you that the situation is unsafe for your children to stay overnight.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I was hoping for an answer from a "what's best for my child" prospective as opposed to an answer about my legal options. I'm aware that I'm not required by law to allow my ex to see our son (no formal custody arrangement) but I want to know how best to ease the co-parenting difficulties we're experiencing.
Expert:  originallawyer replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon again:

I'm sorry my answer wasn't what you were looking for. I'll be happy to address this aspect.

I think as a mother, you already have the right answer. You want to protect your children while not depriving them of their father's involvement in their lives. This is in the best interest of your child.

One of the best ways to do this is to plan activities where the father can come be with his children, but they do not have to go to his girlfriend's house. If you are proactive about reminding him all the time that your goal is to not evict him from his children's lives and help him plan things that do not involve them spending the night there, he can have no cause for complaint.

Frankly, it's not in their best interest to be around this person, especially when there's not even a step parent relationship there.

Most Judges request that parents are cautious in introducing children to new girlfriend/boyfriends. It would be in the best interest of your children for you to sit down with your ex (sans girlfriend) and work out some ideas for sharing time with the children and some safe ways to do so.

Unfortunately, not everybody is capable of co-parenting on that level, which is why I encourage you to seek legal counsel if he continues to be unable to co-parent with you. If he freely admits that his girlfriend is crazy, but cannot see why that concerns you, there are some serious judgment issues there, and you would be acting in your children's best interest to limit their time with him.

Please feel free to ask any follow up or clarification questions you may have.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you so much! I've been going in circles about this for the past month and wondering if I'm trying to be too controlling...which I know I have a tendency to do.


 


I've tried your advice about seeing them in a neutral location but he says I'm just trying to control him. Our last conversation ended with him hanging up after I reiterated my lack of trust in his decision making. We haven't spoken in a week and he hasn't seen the kids in almost a month and it's good to hear you echo what I've been thinking--he's probably just not ready to co-parent at the level I am.


 


In the mean time, I guess I'll just have to wait until he's ready--I've told him the door is always open for him to see his kids but am firm that I won't risk my kid's safety to appease his regret at leaving them.


 


Thanks again!

Expert:  originallawyer replied 1 year ago.
I'm glad I could give you some confirmation. I don't think you are being controlling, since it seems as though you have legitimate concerns. I wish you all the best in protecting your children.
originallawyer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 350
Experience: 5+ years of experience in divorce, custody battles and mediation.
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