Monday April 03 2023

General publication

A Parent’s Concerns About Their Ex’s New Partner

In Quebec, the Courts have already acknowledged the right of a person to rebuild their life with whomever they choose. This includes the right to move in and live with them. Therefore, your ex-partner cannot interfere or try to control your love life after you break-up. However, it is possible to be concerned about your ex’s new partner when they are around your children. In every single decision involving children, whether it is about custody or child support, the Court will always put the child’s interests first.

What does the “child’s interests” mean? It can mean many things, such as their mental or physical health, their emotional or intellectual needs, or their general happiness, to name a few. The Courts’ decisions will always see to the child’s well-being and protection above anything else, hence: « [t]he focus is on the best interests of the child, not the interests and rights of the parents. »

Therefore, there are legal means to your disposal if you have any reason to believe your child should not be near your ex’s new partner. Valid concerns are things such as: previous convictions, a history of violence, and substance abuse, for example. These concerns must not be frivolous or insignificant. They must be a genuine threat to your child’s physical or mental health, their safety or development.

However, this still does not allow the Court to forbid someone from dating another person. It means that your ex should not allow their partner near your children when it is their turn to have custody. Moreover, if a judgment of the Court has already been pronounced forbidding your ex from allowing their new partner access to your children, they might be charged with contempt of court. If they persist, the Court may be justified in changing the previous custody arrangement.

These principles apply regardless of the type of union. Indeed, whether your child was born during a marriage, a civil union or a de facto union, every child will receive the same treatment from of the Court, which must protect the child’s interest.

In the end, the right to intervene in your ex’s love life is not limitless and must be used for the right reasons, personal feelings aside, but if the person is truly harmful to your children, it may be sufficient for the Court to change the current custody arrangement.

Me Vanessa Anastasia De Minico,

In collaboration with Me Gabrielle Pagliuca,


This article contains general legal information and should not replace legal advice from the lawyer or notary of your choice who will take account of the details of your specific situation.