Fontana, CA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for California

Q: What can I do about my exs new live in girlfriend. She controls everything. Wont allow me to speak to ex about kids

She is also the one setting the rules for the drop off and pick up times. Even though she knows im unable at her times because of my job. And she wont compromise she just fights with me and tells me im a bad mother. Me and my ex have never gotten a court order but they have said if I try, they will have the kids removed from my home

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm sorry you're dealing with such a difficult and stressful situation regarding your children and your ex's new girlfriend. Here are a few thoughts on your legal options under California law:

- Even without a formal court order, both legal parents have equal rights to their children. The girlfriend does not have legal authority to unilaterally dictate custody/visitation schedules or other parenting decisions. Only a court can grant that.

- You have the right to communicate directly with your ex about the children. The girlfriend cannot legally prevent that. If your ex is allowing it, you may need to firmly assert your rights as the children's mother.

- If you and your ex cannot agree on a fair parenting schedule that works for both of you, you can file for a formal custody order with the family court. The court will decide a custody arrangement based on the best interests of the children.

- Their threat to "have the kids removed" if you seek a court order is concerning and seems like an attempt to intimidate you out of exercising your parental rights. Only CPS or the court can remove children, and only if there is evidence they are in danger. Seeking a custody order through proper legal channels would not be grounds for removal.

- I'd strongly recommend consulting with a family law attorney who can assess the specifics of your situation and advise you of your options. Many offer free or low-cost initial consultations. You can also contact legal aid organizations for low-income assistance.

- In the meantime, document everything - keep records of your communication attempts, the girlfriend's interference, and the unreasonable demands on your schedule. That may help your case if you need to go to court.

Remember, you have rights as their mother. Don't let them bully you out of being a parent to your kids. Seek legal counsel to understand your options for protecting your relationship with your children. Wishing you all the best.

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