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No, you likely can’t stop “the other woman” from meeting the kids

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2020 | Child Custody |

Infidelity is a common reason for one spouse to file for divorce in Illinois. Finding out that your husband has been seeing someone else can feel like a betrayal that you simply cannot overcome. Divorcing over infidelity can often lead to some of the most intense emotions.

You may want to penalize your spouse for their betrayal and keep the person who infiltrated and undermined your marriage away from you and your children if possible. Unfortunately, doing so is actually much more difficult than you might imagine.

Some people respond to infidelity by trying to seek a full allocation of parental rights and responsibilities so that they can control who spends time with the kids. However, the Illinois family courts prefer that parents share those responsibilities and rights, except in rare situations. In fact, even if all you want is to keep your husband’s mistress away from your children, chances are good that the courts will not help you in that endeavor.

The courts only focus on what is best for the kids

When determining how to split up parental rights and responsibilities in an Illinois divorce, the courts are only going to consider the best interests of the children, not the conflict between the parents that led to the divorce. In most cases, your kids will do best when they have both parents in their lives, which can also mean developing a relationship with the significant other of each parent.

While you may hate the idea of someone who had an affair with your spouse playing a role in the lives of your children, if your spouse maintains that relationship with that person, it will be difficult for you to prevent them from interacting with your children.

The courts rarely interfere in personal relationships to that degree. If you want to request that they bar this individual from seeing your children, you will have to have grounds for making such a request. In other words, you need to demonstrate that their involvement with the family is not in the best interests of the children.

Addiction, mental health or past abuse could sway the courts

If your former spouse’s new love interest has a shady background, the courts may consider that when looking over your parenting plan or splitting up parental rights and responsibilities. Documented and verifiable evidence that this new partner has a history of child abuse or neglect, severe mental health issues or addiction, could be enough to convince the courts that this person will not have a positive role in the lives of the children.

However, unless there is a history of violence, neglect or other serious issues, the courts will most likely dismiss any attempt to prevent a new partner’s interaction with the children as vindictiveness on the part of a jilted spouse.