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Q & A

Q. My wife and I separated a few months ago. She had an affair. She started dating another man (not the man she had an affair with) and brings him around my son. They have been dating for 2 months and my son is 4 years old. We never discussed this and she just acted. Do I have any legal rights concerning this?

A. The answer is not absolute as you will see from the following:

Attorney 1 in Brooklyn: In Brooklyn the judges would be very concerned.  I would advise her attorney that unless she immediately stopped exposing the child to the boyfriend that I would make a motion for a change of custody.

They find this inappropriate while the parties are still married.


Attorney 2 in Manhattan: If he can show it impacts on the child in some fashion he could get the court to direct it to stop or temporary change in custody.


Attorney 3 in Manhattan and the Bronx answers: The Courts react differently depending on the situation.  The fact that she had an affair really would be of little concern.  There certainly is nothing wrong with bringing a friend in contact with the child.  It would really depend upon the level of contact, the relationship between the wife and the new boyfriend (are they engaged), and what if anything is being said to the child about the new friend.  In my experience, the courts are very hesitant to instruct separated spouses to keep children away from new boyfriends or girlfriends.  The husband may have some leverage if the mother is having the boyfriend sleep over when the child is with her, but nowadays even this is usually permitted so long as the child has a separate room.  Of course, the mother cannot encourage the child to call her new boyfriend “dad”.

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