If She’s Unemployed, She Needs to Get a Job
Video Transcribed: You’ve met that woman of your dreams and you moved her in. Now, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to run the household. So, what should you do?
My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am an attorney for father’s rights with Dads.Law. I want to pick up on the subject of moving your significant other in, during the pendency of your divorce. Now, suppose you’ve gone against better advice and you’ve already moved the person in or you’re going to move the person in. What can you do to avoid having serious problems?
Well, the first thing I think is worth doing is sitting down with this person and have a really frank discussion about how you’re going to run your household, who’s going to pay for what, and if you have children and they’re going to be around this person, you really, really need to discuss with them what their relationship with the children is going to be, including if they’re going to be involved in discipline, and if they are going to be involved in discipline, to what extent.
The first part of it is, if you are getting divorced and you move the SO in, you really need to discuss and figure out how you’re going to divide bills up. If she’s unemployed, she needs to get a job. You cannot be a sugar daddy to her while you’re getting divorced. That’s going to bite you in the like you won’t believe, and that looks really bad. She’s going to have to work and she’s going to have to contribute to the household budget.
You’d better be able to document what she’s contributing. In other words, is she going to help pay rent? If so, how much? Is she going to help pay utilities? If so, how much? If she’s the source of a bill, in other words, if you weren’t going to have cable, but by God, she’s going to have her soaps and she wants cable, then she needs to pay that bill and you better be able to document that she’s paying that bill.
What is she going to contribute to the grocery bill? What is she going to contribute to the utilities? All of these things need to be documented so that it doesn’t look like your sugar-daddy is this person. That’s the first thing.
Another really important discussion is if you have kids and you’re planning to have them come there while she’s there, then you better discuss with her what her relationship to the kids is going to be. You also better have a frank discussion with her about her background.
The conversation ought to go like this. “Do you have any kind of history I need to know about you? Do you have any protective orders? Have you ever been involved in an incident involving domestic violence?
Do you have a DHS in Oklahoma history? Do you have kids of your own? Do you have visitation rights or custody of your kids? Do you have a criminal record? Do you have any mental health problems?” Do they use any substances? Have they ever? You need to know all that. It needs to be out on the table and it needs to be out on the table before that person moves in.
I’m not trying to be offensive in saying this, but these are things you need to know because you better believe her attorney is going to find out. They’re going to know that she’s there and they’re going to dig into her past. So, you’d better know first.
Also, does she have social media? If so, what’s up on social media? You better discuss what can and can’t go on social media because, again, these are all things that can come back and haunt you.
I got a guy held in contempt once because of the fiance who posted something online that bit him in the ass. I’m just telling you, point-blank, you really, really need to be careful with this stuff, because what she does online is going to get attributed back to you. Understand that.
Also, discipline is a big deal. My advice to you is your significant other should not be using corporal punishment on your children. Certainly not in the pendency of a divorce. That can and will bite you in the ass. I’ve seen it happen time and time and time again. It’s a really bad idea.
Really, the only time that that’s acceptable is either if you’re talking about it where the other parent is out of the picture and is likely to stay out of the picture and is not going to cause you a problem over that, or if you’re talking about a limited circumstance where the child did something dangerous and a point had to be made.
I don’t think that a court’s probably going to give you an issue if your girlfriend, fiance, whatever, whips your kid’s ass for running in the street if it’s a small child, or forgoing under the sink and playing with something poisonous. It’s probably not an issue as long as the spanking was reasonable and there are no injuries. But as a general rule, that’s off the table for them.
Also, as far as another discipline, you really need to have a plan on how they’re going to deal with stuff if they’re there and you are not. Even if the plan is not to leave them alone with the children, as a realistic matter, if you’ve got overnights, that’s probably going to happen at some point unavoidably. So, you better have a plan.
Also, something to talk to them about is what kind of a relationship are they going to have with the children’s mother? Because, yes, that’s going to have to happen. They’re going to have to at least be able to work together if this person’s going to be a permanent fixture in your life.
These are all things to talk about with a significant other preferably before you move them in, but definitely shortly thereafter if you do move them in. If you have questions about any of that, or if you need help with any other issue related to your rights as a father, you should go to Dads.Law, where fathers are not disposable, guys.