Can my ex stop my child from seeing my new partner?
Your ex-partner does not have the right to keep your child from seeing your new partner. If you both have parental responsibility, then you both have a right to introduce your children to whomever you want. The only issue that may arise in this case is if your new partner poses a risk to the child or has a criminal background which may suggest that they would be a potential risk.
You and your ex-partner have the right to get into new relationships with people. In order for you to move on with your lives, this is inevitable. In saying this, you also need to think about the concerns that your ex-partner may have about your new partner. For instance, they may be concerned about the amount of time your new partner is spending with your child, what type of person they are, and whether they are a positive influence on your child.
The best course of action is to speak to your ex-partner before introducing your child to your new partner. This way, they may be more comfortable and willing to support the idea.
If your ex-partner continues to have concerns about your child seeing your new partner, then they may be able to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order in court. This would prohibit you from exercising your parental responsibility.
However, they must show that your new partner is a risk to the child’s safety, health, and well-being, or that it is in the child’s best interests to not meet them. The court does not enforce these Orders lightly.
If for instance, your new partner is a direct risk to your child, then your ex-partner could contact the police and an injunction could be put in place to stop your new partner from having contact with your child.
The court will ensure that whatever decision is made is in the best interests of the child and in many cases, it is not good for the child to be away from one of their parents unless they are in danger.
What happens if there is a Court Order in place?
If there is a child arrangements order in place (this replaced contact orders and residence orders), then this will outline who the child lives with and who they spend time with. Similarly, if you have a parenting plan or some kind of other arrangement with your ex-partner, then you will have an idea as to what was agreed upon in terms of your child spending time with new partners.
If the terms of the child arrangements order are broken, then your ex-partner is able to go to court to notify them that the terms have been breached. They may proceed to apply for an enforcement order which will result in consequences for you.