Avoiding parenting issues with your ex’s significant other is often overlooked once parents move on following a divorce or break up. Most Allocation Judgments (formerly called Custody Judgments) address this issue and put the burden on a parent to make sure their new, subsequent significant other (and potentially third parties) aware of the contents and rules of the Allocation Judgment. Usually, the most important provisions to notify third parties and significant others regarding are the parenting time rules.
No Disparaging Remarks About the Other Parent
Generally, there is a rule regarding not disparaging the other parent, not discussing court proceedings or financial issues with the minor children, and more. It is imperative that any person who will be around your children regularly or repeatedly follow these rules. If they do not, you may be held responsible for it in Court.
Ensure Significant Others and Third-Parties Follow the Rules
A lot of Allocation Judgments have language in them in which indicates that the parent is responsible for informing the third parties and subsequent significant others/new spouses of the parenting time rules and making sure they are enforced. This is because the Court, in most cases, does not have jurisdiction over anyone other than the parties themselves. So, they couldn’t hold a third party in contempt of court for a violation of the order, because they are not bound by the Court’s jurisdiction. But the parents are, especially with language such as what I suggested above.
You’re Responsible If Your Significant Other Refuses to Abide by the Rule
Language such as the language above holds the parent responsible if they bring the minor children around third parties or significant others who refuse to abide by the rules. They can be held in contempt of Court and accused of violating the order. This can mean monetary sanctions, such as attorney’s fees, or even jail time when the act is a criminal contempt issue. This is serious business and must not be taken lightly.
Further, even if your agreement doesn’t require you to inform third parties and significant others of the parenting agreement’s rules, especially not to disparage the other parent of your children, it is just good practice. It is being a kind human. It is setting a good example.
Model Good Behavior & Put Your Children’s Needs First
Too many parents get caught up in the messy details of a divorce or the relationship ending that they don’t even realize that they are putting themselves first instead of their children. Those are the children who have the hardest time later in life, in school, in relationships of their own, etc. Setting a good example of behavior and interaction with your ex’s significant other (and others) is mandatory if you want your children to be well-adjusted and successful as adults.