We’ve recently been exploring some of the complicated issues for people who are dating after a divorce or break up with the other parent of their child. One issue that’s come up is whether a parent should put their significant other on the school Pick-Up list for their child. The answer is, as always, rather complicated, so let’s take a closer look.
The Significance of the Significant Other
Unlike the question of introducing a significant other to the other parent, which the courts have strong opinions on, courts are less concerned on this more specific issue. This, of course, is dependent on the relationship and that the emphasis is on significant, not transitory or casual dating.
The answer depends on these criteria:
- Have you been introduced and do you know the significant other well enough to see they are responsible people who can be trusted to pick up your child from school or events?
- Does your child have a relationship with the significant other so your child trusts this person?
- Does the other parent have a legitimate reason for needing to utilize a significant other to pick up the child from school or other activities?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then the significant other should not be included on the child’s Pick-Up list.
The Court’s Position
Even with those criteria, the court does not like it when they feel an issue is petty and will not look favorably upon your case if you bring such an issue to the table. One petty act may not cause you to lose a court case, but cumulatively these acts can change the outcome. Our advice is to avoid petty issues in court. Always have legitimate, objectively reasonable reasons for your position. Georgia courts and judges are reasonable in most things and don’t expect perfection, but pettiness can turn the judges off your case.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, consider these three factors:
- You know the significant other
- You can trust them to be responsible
- Your child has a relationship
- The other parent has a legitimate reason for needing help
If these are the case, don’t withhold permission. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t withhold providing such permission when it is objectively reasonable for you to have concerns.
Do you want to know more about the involvement of a significant other in the life of your child?