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Family Law Specialist Cara Nuttall discusses moving on after the breakdown of a relationship

There are reports in the press this week that Demi Moore has been left "reeling" and "deeply distressed" by pictures of her ex-husband Ashton Kutcher out with his alleged new girlfriend, Mila Kunis.  Separate reports also suggest that Moore's relationship with her Children has become difficult and strained as a result of their decision to stay in touch with Kutcher following the Separation, and even after he has publically moved on (though it has yet to be confirmed whether this is in fact true).The reports demonstrate just how many difficulties a new relationship can cause after a Breakdown of a Relationship, particularly when there are Children involved.  So often, an ex moving on and forming a new relationship marks a significant flashpoint, which can then in turn serve to cause significant difficulties in finalising Finances on Separation and/or arrangements for Children.The summer holidays mark a time of the year when the issue becomes particular prevalent, as parents take Children out on trips or away on holiday, and want to involve their new partner, against the wishes of the other parent.  There is no right or wrong answer to when and how Children should meet and spend time with a parent's new partner, but the courts will always expect parents to be sensitive to the needs of the Children and to prioritise the needs of the Children, despite what they may feel personally about the issue.  Unless there are genuine concerns about the suitability of the new partner to be around the Children, courts will generally not consider that the introduction of a partner with whom a parent is in a settled relationship is justification for withholding contact between the Children and that parent, but of course, as always, each case is different and must be addressed on its own facts.

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