Does my ex-wife have a say on who I choose to date or marry?

I’m a 28 year old male divorced male with a 6 year old son and a  4 year old daughter. I have been divorced 1 year and am now dating a 17 year old young woman in college. Age of consent in my state is 16, although we are not intimate sexually. My ex has primary custody of the kids and I have them 3 days a week and pay child support. My kids are unaware we are dating but they know her as a friend of our family and love her dearly. If we were to choose to marry before she turned 18, with notarized parental consent, can my ex do anything about it legally? Specifically, can she gain full custody if I marry one she feels is too young to care for our kids? Our situation may not be widely accepted socially but no laws have ever been broken.

Asked on August 20, 2011 Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The way that you have phrased this question it appears that you are a well spoken person who reasons logically as well. The age of consent does not matter really so get that out of your head.  So you realize that any sexual contact with her at this point would be considered statutory rape as well as a whole host  of other offenses that you could be charged with: endangering the welfare of a minor, etc.?  Ok good.  Now, your ex wife does not have a say on whom you can marry.  But she can back door this issue in to a custody matter.  How, may I ask?  By advising the court that you like to date minors.  See where this is going?  She can petition the court for modification of the agreement based upon her concern for the safety of the children.  Not that this has anything to do with your kids.  It is just something that I can see as potentially problematic.  So why not just cool it until she turns legal.  Good luck.


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