I have recently separated from my partner of 12 years after he cheated on me with my best friend.
We have two young children together but I am finding it difficult to organise for my ex-partner to see the children because I find it hard to face him given the circumstances.
Now I have recently found out that my ex-partner and my ‘best friend’ are living together.
I am happy for my children to see their father but I do not want my ‘best friend’ to be around my children.
Please can you advise how I can try to sort this out? I want to be amicable but it is a very emotional situation.
It sounds like you are facing a very difficult situation. It is good that you are encouraging contact between your children and their father, despite the circumstances.
The legal system and the courts hope that parents who have separated are able to make arrangements together that are in the best interests of the children.
It is understandable for you to not be on good terms with your ex-partner, but you should continue to make every effort to reach reliable and specific arrangements for the children.
If you are finding it difficult to see your ex-partner and you think that this may have an impact on your children having contact with their father, you may wish to consider using a neutral family member or friend to take the children to see their father.
Although the circumstances which led to your separation from your ex-partner are difficult, you cannot control who your children have contact with when they are in the care of their father simply because you view them unfavourably for causing the breakdown of your relationship.
You could try to discuss the situation with your ex-partner and ask that, while both you and the children adjust to the new arrangement, that he have contact with the children by himself.
If you are unwilling, or do not feel able to discuss the matter with your ex-partner, solicitors can often help with communication and reaching an agreement between parties.
The welfare of your children, however, is paramount and if you are concerned that your ‘best friend’ poses a risk to your children, you should take immediate steps to address this. If you think that this is the case, I would urge you to seek legal advice as it is important to take steps to safeguard your children.
Ben Hoare Bell LLP has specialist family solicitors who can help in situations such as this. To speak to a solicitor please phone 0191 565 3112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.