Can I veto my ex dating a specific person?

When a married couple divorces, it often happens that one spouse starts dating another person. Furthermore, it is natural for the other spouse to not approve of the new romantic interest. You may be wondering whether you can veto your ex dating a specific person you dislike because you have children.

The answer is no, you cannot. However, because children are in the picture, there is some gray area.

Parenting plans

While you may not be able to veto your ex dating someone, you can draw up a parenting plan in which the two of you agree to wait a time period, such as six months, before introducing your children to new romantic partners. This gives the new relationship time to make sure it is solid, and it also gives you time to try to get to know this person better.

Genuine safety concerns

There could be genuine safety concerns at play, such as a track record of DUI convictions. In some circumstances, your lawyer may be able to get no-contact orders or other restrictions, meaning that the person your ex is dating cannot be around your children or cannot, say, drive your children places. If you want to avoid going before a judge, you can try to negotiate these requirements into a parenting plan. However, your ex can still continue to date this person even if he or she has no contact or limited contact with your children.

The situation can get more complicated if remarriage enters the picture. Depending on the nuances, a judge may decide the new person does not pose a huge safety threat to your children. However, the judge could order the children to spend more time with you, resulting in limited contact with the new stepparent.

Whatever you do, try to maintain a healthy balance in your life. It is best to not become obsessed or consumed with this person. Speak neutrally and factually about the person in front of your children instead of bad-mouthing him or her. Also, know that you could be opening yourself up to legal trouble if you try to do something such as take your children from your ex's home during a visitation.

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Nicholas J. Hemond Attorney at Law
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