When you live with the other parent of your children, the two of you will work together to meet the children’s needs. Your spouse will likely listen to you about your preferences and concerns. In a shared custody scenario, the other parent of your children typically has full control over whatever they do during their parenting time and won’t have to consider your wishes.
They could take your kids to the mall or order pizza in at home. When they have larger blocks of time, they might also arrange for travel with the children, provided that there are no restrictions on travel in your parenting plan. If a parent has to make important choices during their parenting time, like securing medical care in an emergency, they typically have the authority to do so.
They may also arrange for someone to provide childcare so that they can socialize or go to work. Can you prevent the other parent from using a questionable childcare provider?
You can request the right of first refusal
The terms of your custody order dictate what each of you can do during your parenting time. If you worry that a stream of short-term boyfriends might soon babysit your children, which makes you worry for their safety, you could add the right of first refusal to your parenting plan.
Essentially, your ex will have to give you the opportunity to take the children anytime they will not physically be present with them. Before they leave your child with a babysitter, they should reach out to you first. That can help you prevent a scenario where someone dangerous is left alone with your children.
The courts may bar specific people
In scenarios where there is a family member or a new romantic interest who has a history of child abuse or other forms of violence, you could ask the family courts to prohibit your ex from leaving your children alone with that individual. You typically need evidence, like criminal records and police reports, if you expect the courts to intervene in such a personal matter for the protection of the children.
Learning more about the child custody rules in Virginia can help parents who want to protect their children.