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By Needhelp
Well tonight my heart sank, the moment I'd be dreading had come. I found out after the fact from my 3 year old that my ex husband is seeing someone else and has introduced my 2 young girls to her today.

So many worries are running through my head. Who is she? Is she good enough for my girls? As he isn't a catch it worries me what she's like. It's not to say she can't be nice but if you knew him you'd wonder too.

Not one part of me cares he has moved on, The marriage was not good and I have to leave.

He quit working the day I left and therefore has paid no child support in nearly 2 years. He lives with the his parents and he has our girls 2 nights a week. I only agreed at first because his parents were there. Lots of reasons others would not of let him have them at all at the time.

I rented my own place for about 18 months but with no financial support at all for our girls I have had to move back in with my parents also. I also work and pay for 2 days childcare.

Anyway my biggest fear is, and I'm hoping someone can tell me if I need to is:

If he remarries and gets his own place will they have more chance of more custody as they will be a 2 parent family ?

And if they have a child together who will become half siblings to my 2 girls would that also mean my girls would live with them full time?

Under the circumstances I left he was
Lucky he ended up with 2 nights a week. If it went to court and I wasn't bullied into it I doubt he would have got that. But if he ever does sort himself out and gets a house / job. / possible new wife and kids. Will he get custody if I'm still single (as I don't want to repartner anytime soon) and does living with my parents affect this. (I am nearly 40) and only don't have a home because I lost everything I ever had when I got divorced.

I'm scared of Losing my Girls to another women. They are so young and it kills me to think someone else will be a mother figure to them. Especially at this age. 2 &3.

Thanks for any advice or facts that may help ease my mind.
I don't really have a lot of knowledge to answer your questions accurately, but I am currently going through a similar experience. Except, there are substance abuse issues in my case. For 3 years visitation was spent at his parents house, so there was adequate supervision (or so I thought - but that's another story). Once he told me he was seeing someone, and moving in to his own place with her, I now find myself 6 months into the court process and it is hell.

Being in the early stages of the process, I cant comment on whether or not marriage is an advantage, but I DO know that under the umbrella of "the best interests of the children", unless there are significantly good reasons why not, the father will generally get the time he asks for.

"And if they have a child together who will become half siblings to my 2 girls would that also mean my girls would live with them full time?"

This question is irrelevant. The amount of children they have together has very little influence on where your children live. Yes, the children have a right to a relationship with their siblings, and yes, the court will ensure that happens, but I suspect you may be jumping the gun a bit here (not that it's abnormal to fear the future - I'm guily of that myself, but it's not helpful to dwell on the 'what if's'). Just because he has children in another relationship does not mean he automatically gets 100% residential care. So you can relax on that one.

Although it may seem laughable, and the last thing in the world you want to do, my advice would be to get to know this new woman, and get her on-side. You can't stop the relationship, and if she sticks around as you think she will, she will be another consistent female role-model in your childrens life. And you know what? That's not necessarily a bad thing. Communication is essential, because if your ex is anything like mine, you want her to feel comfortable coming to you if there are any problems when the kids are with them. Your kids will always know who their real mum is though. ALWAYS!

One thing that I do on occasion, that might help you is to go on to step-mother forums online and read all the posts about how being a step-mum sucks, and how miserable they are (and there is a LOT of them), and I get a good laugh and feel better.

Chin up. You will get through this.
By Carolyn Drew

My ex re-married and she pushed him to apply for court orders (even though we'd been separated several years at the time with no court orders in place) - the court did take into account the fact that she was a school teacher in their application for half of the school holidays even though he never takes leave, but we weren't applying for shared 'custody' (custody isn't the terminology anymore, 'Shared Parental Responsibility' is the default position). As he was the applicant for orders he applied for the kids to live with me and for him to have alternate weekends/half holidays (kids were around 11 and 14 at the time).

My responding application was for the kids (who were now teenagers) to spend time when and if they wanted to and for them to be allowed to have some control over when they did (given these orders were to last until they were 18 - so through their teenage years ... the youngest was 5 when we separated, so you can see there was quite a lot of time without orders).

In my experience new partners/2nd wives will push the husband to apply for orders because he will turn on the sob story about how you are keeping the kids away from him and what a bad parent you are, regardless of how well cared for the kids obviously are to her. Rarely will the new partner keep her nose out of the family business, sometimes they can be your worst enemy!

There will not be any 'custody' granted to soley to a them because they are in a two couple family - unless you are abusing the children, or have severe drug or alcohol issues or are homeless ... and since I doubt you are any of these you will be fine, get some good legal advice if and when the time arises.

Yes it is heartbreaking to see another woman come into your kids lives especially when your children are young, but you need to manage your time with the children as best you can, they love you, you're their mother, keep the lines of communication with your kids open but don't try and ask too many questions about what the new partner is like etc. Try not to talk about her badly to the kids, try and talk to your friends/family about those issues. I always tried to hold my head high with as much dignity as I could muster (even when that was a huge challenge like in court!!). I used to ask the kids what they did on the weekends with them when they came home, and then I understood the kids needed down-time when they came home and would always talk to me about their time with him and her when and if they wanted to. If they didn't want to talk to me about her, what did it matter really? it just caused me heartache, that I didn't need. They were quite fond of her and she was doing a decent job as a step-mother to them so I couldn't really complain in that respect.

Postscript: they separated a year ago, and he is desperately trying to find a new partner. She apologised to me for being such a bitch during their marriage - I said, yep you were and you cost me around $25K in legal bills for court orders that are not even being followed anymore (the kids are 18 and 15 now!!!). The 15 year old just spent two nights with her and her daughter as they keep in contact, we are very polite to each other, have a bit of a laugh, don't talk about him - lol
By Mum22
Oh NH, I know it is hard, it really hurts. But I can't help think it won't last - she is moving in with him - AND his parents!! Seriously, If I was embarking on a new r/s I would not be moving in with parents too. Most men can't be alone for very long - they need to validate themselves by hooking up asap.
A court won't take your girls away just cos he got himself a new woman, and even if they have a child together in the future, it does not detract from your childs' needs. You could argue that he is being selfish and not putting the kids needs ahead of his own whereas you are. Hold on, it takes a while, and sometimes quite a while, but in time you will find you are coping better and the girls will develop resilience in their lives as will you. Do yourself a favour and do not believe any nonsense that you might hear; for example my ex told me that because he has one more child than I did that he would get custody of our child - he didn't. In fact his time went down. and his new relationship failed, so he is on his own again.