Do I have the right to tell my ex-husband that he is the only one allowed to discipline our children?

UPDATED: Oct 22, 2012

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Do I have the right to tell my ex-husband that he is the only one allowed to discipline our children?

I found out his girlfriend Has been putting hands on my kids. Can I put a stop to that?

Asked on October 22, 2012 under Family Law, California


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is a court order in place, then he is the only one that has the right to direct the care of the children while they are in his custody.  Whether at a daycare, with a sitter, or with his girlfriend, he can authorize any of the people who are assisting him to give reasonable discipline.  Emphasis here is on "reasonable".  He cannot allow anyone to abuse the children.  If the girlfriend is "putting hands" on your children in such a way that it is abusive, then you can file charges for abuse of a child.  If it's not quite abuse, yet, but you are still concerned, then you can petition the court to impose a rule that only you and him can administer discipline-- which would restrict your ex- from delegating discipline responsibilities to her.

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