What are my boyfriend’s rights to visitation with his children if we live together?

His divorce decree says something that to me, is a bit confusing or misleading. Can you tell me what does it mean: “At no time shall the father exercise visitation with the minor children in the presence of any unrelated, by blood or marriage, opposite gender individuals who are overnight guests/residents at the father’s residence”.

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Family Law, Georgia


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding your boyfriend’s right to visitation given the language of the current divorce decree.  You should be aware that family law courts will vary depending on the state overseeing and enforcing the divorce decree.  Some states allow for the negotiation of child custody within the divorce decree.  Additionally, while terms may seem a bit odd to an outsider, couples negotiate very particular items when dictating child custody.  The terms can relate to religion, extracurricular activities, and even who the child is permitted to be around when in the physical custody of the parents. 

Currently, it appears that your boyfriend’s divorce decree prohibits his children to be in the presence of any unrelated, opposite gender individuals at his residence.  This means that he cannot pick up his kids for visitation if you will be around.  While this may seem unfair to you, these are the terms that the court has ordered to be in the best interest of the child.  If he violates the terms of the divorce decree, then he could be held in contempt of court.

However, divorce decrees, as well as child custody, child support, and visitation can be modified if there has been a change in circumstances.  This means that these terms may not be forever if the judge sees fit to change the terms of the divorce decree.  If you or your boyfriend need further assistance with this child custody matter, you can contact a family law attorney in your area to provide more guidance.


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