The new boyfriend or husband of your ex-wife has no legal rights to your children at all, including basic rights to decision-making about your children. No matter if your ex-wife remarries or not, the opinions of the new man in her life are legally irrelevant when it comes to your children. In many situations, however, you will find that a new boyfriend or spouse may overstep his bounds, either in disciplining your children or establishing the rules by which they must live.
To be more specific, your ex-wife’s new significant other has no parental rights – no right to determine where your kids go to school, the activities in which they participate, or what sort of medical treatment your kids should receive. Those are decisions that should be made by the parents jointly, or by one parent who has been granted sole legal custody by the court. Georgia family law makes no provisions for any legal rights by a new stepparent or significant other.
The same goes for emergency contact information for your children at school, daycare facilities, summer camp, and extracurricular activities. Information for both of the children’s parents should be placed on these forms that parents always must complete. This practice allows both parents to get notice of school events, programs, report cards, practices, and game schedules. There may be a space for additional contact information on these forms, which can contain the stepparent or boyfriend’s contact information. However, that information should never supplant or come before a natural parent’s contact information.
While it is important to encourage a positive relationship between child and stepparent, it is equally important that he or she refrain from overstepping the bounds of his or her role in the family. This is often difficult for all parties involved. Any stepparent or significant other walks a fine line between helping parent children with whom he or she lives and usurping the other parent’s role. The reality, however, is that new husband or boyfriend has no legal rights to your children, and should not be encouraged to act as if he or she does have these rights.
As your Georgia child custody lawyer, we can properly advise you about the legal rights and responsibilities of both parents following a divorce, as well as what to do about an interfering stepparent or significant other. At Shaw Law Firm LLC, we have represented countless parents who have encountered difficulties when their ex-spouses move on to a new relationship. We know how to handle these situations, and how the court can intervene and help, if necessary. Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.