Can I Protect My Child from My Ex’s Partner?

Going through a divorce can be like riding an emotional roller coaster. Now you’re divorced, and you and your former partner are now leading separate lives. Your children are starting to adjust to the new family structure. Suddenly, your ex begins seeing someone new. You may not approve of the new person that is now in your kids’ lives. In these situations, it’s quite common to wonder, can I protect my child from my ex’s partner?

Is There a Real Problem?

Children often feel a strong loyalty to their biological parents. When one of their parents starts seeing someone new it is natural for them to feel a pang of betrayal. They may be concerned that if they like the new person they are betraying their own parent. For this reason, some kids struggle with their parent’s new relationship. In some cases, they may even exaggerate the situation, making it seem as if there is actual conflict between the child and the new partner or between the parent and their new partner. It is up to you to determine exactly what is happening so that it can be resolved.

Talk to Your Ex about the Situation

The first thing you should do is to discuss the situation with your former spouse. This may be a difficult conversation, because you and your ex may not be on good terms. However, it is best to put aside your own differences and concentrate on the child. Find out if there is a problem so that it can be fixed. Children may simply want to break up the new relationship, so determine whether the problem is real, perceived, or fabricated.

Develop a Plan for Fixing the Problem

If a child is having trouble with a parent’s new partner, it can signal the need for assistance. The child should be allowed to talk about their feelings in a safe environment, such as with a counselor. Sometimes the child will learn how to better deal with their emotions, and will be able to accept the new person in their parent’s life.

Doing what’s Best for the Child

If the child is getting hurt, physically or emotionally, an emergency situation may exist that warrants at least a temporary change of parenting time and/or restrictions on the partner’s time with the child. It is always necessary to do what is in the best interests of the child. Before requesting emergency orders from the Court, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.

Call the legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to learn your options when handling these difficult situations.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Can I Protect My Child, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Lindsay A.M. Olivarez at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.