If mywife and I are separated and her boyfriend abused her, can I keep him away from our 6 year-old son?

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If mywife and I are separated and her boyfriend abused her, can I keep him away from our 6 year-old son?

We have been separated nearly 2 years, during which time my wife has been dating an abusive man who is constantly around our son. In March, he moved in with them. After a week he beat her up-she corroborated this to me and expressed fear regarding him and vowed to keep him away from our son. In early July they began dating again and I am afraid he will be allowed to move back in. No police report was made but our son has recounted the story to a few people and, again, she admitted it to me. What are my options?

Asked on July 20, 2010 under Family Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Do you and your wife have a formal separation agreement or is there a divorce pending?  If the answer is "no" and you have just been winging it with regard to custody and visitation then I would suggest that you start to make things a bit more legal.  You need to file for physical custody of your son. If your wife will not voluntarily keep the guy away from your son then you have to ask for supervised visitation for him and no overnight visits if he is in the house.  You need to ask that the court put forth some form of order keeping him away from your son.  But you will need evidence that he is in a dangerous situation.  Maybe your actions will make her wake up and take charge of the situation if she believes that it will limit her contact with your son.  Sometimes all people need is a push in the right direction.  Good luck.


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