Can I limit who has contact with my child while they are in my ex’s care?

Family Law FAQ: Can I Keep My Ex's New Partner Away From My Child?We are going to be honest here – this is usually not a “best interest of the child” situation and is more likely an “I want to maintain control” situation. As in, “I don’t want my ex introducing the new love interest to my children.” We discourage such limitations unless specific facts of your case warrant a limitation.

But, yes – you may be able to limit who has contact with your children while in your spouse’s care and this can be either through agreement or by court order. Remember, a court will look out for the best interest of the child.

The most valid reason for wanting to limit contact is abuse (sexual, verbal, physical). If you have evidence of abuse, you may want to fight for a limit on contact by the abuser. A skilled, child custody attorney in Metairie can help you in this situation.

Can I prevent my ex from having overnight visitors while my children are in their care?

This is known as a “morality clause” and can be found in high-conflict custody agreements.

So yes – you may be able to limit who can spend the night while your spouse has custody of your children, and this can be either through agreement or by court order.

A common clause would prohibit a non-family member from spending the night while the spouse has care of the children.  Now, if the spouse remarries, this clause no longer has effect. A skilled, child custody attorney in Luling can help you in this situation.

The thought is that it will protect the children from exposure to a revolving door of short-term romantic partners. However, these morality clauses can be very difficult to enforce and usually don’t afford children the protection or stability that was desired. What defines “overnight”? What will the repercussions be for violating the custody order and how will it be enforced?

You should also remember – what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  Meaning, any limits you seek to enforce may also apply to you.  Can your ex then dictate who can be around your child? For example, you don’t want the latest boyfriend/girlfriend spending the night!  Ok.  Well, you may then have an order prohibiting someone from sleeping over at your house as well. Or you don’t want the new love interest to drive your kids.  Ok. Well, you may be restricted from having certain individuals drive the kids when with you as well.

And, here’s our policy – you should focus on yourself and moving forward with your life, and unless specifically necessary, not focus on your former spouse or their new boyfriend/girlfriend.  This usually comes from a place of fear and worry (“will my children like this new person more than me”) and is usually not healthy for you or your children. 

These battles are also usually not in your financial interest as they can drive up the cost of your divorce and child custody battle. However, if evidence exists that a certain person is a true danger to your child(ren), then this is certainly a battle that we will fight.

As always, you should consult a family law attorney before attempting to apply any morality clauses to your custodial agreement.

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Nationally recognized attorney dedicated to fighting life's legal battles with compassion and care