The best Vancouver child custody lawyers understand that after your breakup, you might be concerned about whom your ex-spouse allows to spend time with your child, or even care for your child for extended periods. If this other person is a new romantic partner of your ex, you likely would be even more sensitive about their involvement with your child. You may wonder whether you could seek legal action to interfere in or prevent your ex’s plans to introduce your child to the new partner or to use certain care-givers. For more general information read this.
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Another common flashpoint of conflict is the use of the child’s grandparents, who may be estranged from the primary caregiver, for example, or who may only speak a foreign language or may not be deemed physically capable of ensuring the child’s safety. This question often becomes one of the hottest topics in a custody case, where the minority parent typically will argue that their statutory right to make decisions about third party care and interaction with the child is being infringed. The argument is legally complex, however, and will need to be discussed with the best Vancouver child custody lawyers to ensure the correct outcome so that your child is protected.
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The first thing you should do is consult your parenting plan for guidance. You may have already agreed that only certain individuals may be around the child, such as family members, close family friends, and those designated for childcare. There may already be terms in place governing when a significant other is allowed to be introduced to the child; for instance, a minimum amount of duration for the new relationship, or that the new romantic partner is living together with the other party, or that you have a chance to meet the new partner before them being introduced to the child.
The best Vancouver child custody lawyers know that if you already have a custody or child parenting time order in place that gives the other party typical parenting responsibilities under Family Law Act s.41, bear in mind that bundle of parenting responsibilities includes the right to decide which third party your child will associate with. Thus, to gain Court intervention to prevent or restrict your ex when it comes to who will be allowed to care for your child, you would have to demonstrate a material change in circumstance warranting a change in the original court order. This is a high bar to overcome, and it would require a significant amount of evidence. The Parenting Time Supervision Lawyers at MacLean Law’s Vancouver office stand ready to evaluate your situation and advise if your facts and evidence would be sufficient to support a successful application in the Provincial or Supreme Courts of BC.
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Remember that when a parent is only able to provide evidence of substantial time spent with the child by a new partner, or cohabitation with the child, the court is not likely to find a detrimental effect unless further evidence is shown of specific risk to the child’s welfare. Courts do not like to enact restrictions overly regulating the private lives of parties.
Regardless, we view Court as a last resort. The best Vancouver child custody lawyers prefer to reduce temperatures and conflict between spouses, if possible. This is especially true with “third rail” issues such as new partners. Thus, you may encourage and get the other parent to agree to have the issue discussed with a family/child counselor, and even to adopt the recommendations of the professional as to the best time and manner to introduce new partners. Such an agreement could even be incorporated into a Court order “By Consent” so that each side can have comfort that the arrangement will be followed and taken seriously.
Letting go of your child is a difficult enough hurdle to overcome. It can be even more difficult when you are concerned for the safety of your child when the other parent is bringing your child around people whom you dislike or disapprove of. If you have serious concerns, contact an experienced BC Custody Lawyer to discuss your options.
Contact MacLean Family Law at 1 877 602 9900, or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.