Sometimes, marriages end in divorce because one spouse starts a new relationship. Other times, people start new relationships shortly after a divorce. You may have accepted the reality of divorce in Colorado, which includes the fact that you and your spouse are probably going to share parental rights and responsibilities until your children reach adulthood.

What you may not accept is the idea that the person who helped destroy your marriage or prevented reconciliation during your divorce could have a relationship with your children. Do you have any right to stop your ex’s new partner from being a part of your children’s lives?

Divorced spouses have very little, if any, control over their ex

There are plenty of reasons why you may not want your former spouse’s new partner involved in your children’s lives. You may worry that your children will grow attached, only to have your ex move on to a new relationship. You may feel worried that the two of them may influence your children negatively and instill the idea that unethical behavior like adultery is acceptable.

Unfortunately, there are few legal options available to a parent who wants to limit a third party’s access to their children during the other parent’s parenting time. What your ex does during their parenting time is not under your control unless you have reason to believe that it puts your children in immediate danger.

There are circumstances in which you could request help

Being mad about an extramarital affair isn’t going to be legitimate grounds to restrict your former spouse’s parental rights in the eyes of the Colorado family courts. In fact, they often take a dim view of parents who try to interfere in the relationship between their ex and their children.

However, if you can provide evidence that validates your concerns about the other person’s involvement in your children’s lives, the courts might listen. They have to make decisions in the best interests of the kids, including protecting them from potential sources of harm.

If the other party has a history of violent behavior, especially if they have lost custody of their own children or have convictions for domestic violence, the courts may agree that their presence in the lives of the children is a source of danger.

Barring severe mental health issues, a history of violence or current addiction that could lead to neglect, it is unlikely that the courts will intervene in a situation where your ex has introduced a new romantic partner to your children during or after a divorce.