My Ex’s New Girlfriend is Showering With My Kids, I’m Not Comfortable With This

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I have a question about if a girlfriend should be showering with children. I know it may not be a big deal, but there are other factors involved.  My husband and I recently got divorced and have moved on. He has dated a woman for about 9 months now. She has been taking showers with my 3 year old when she is at her dad’s house for visitation. I don’t think it is appropriate for her to be taking showers with our daughter or our 1 year old. I contracted genital herpes from my kids’ father so I know his girlfriend has it by now – I’m sure. When the herpes flare up there is shedding involved. With that, I do not want my girls to be exposed to the possibility of getting genital herpes or anything else if they are showing with their father, his girlfriend, or even myself.  I do not shower with them or bathe with them for that simple reason. Is there any law that protects small children with this matter?”

This is not so much a question of law, as it is a question of what is socially appropriate, and acceptable for you and your family.  That said, there may (or may not) be aspects of your state or county’s family law or social service laws that address this situation.  If you are genuinely concerned about this (and it sounds as if you are) you may want to call your county’s social services office and ask them what their guidelines would say about this.  However, be very careful in doing so, because you are looking for information, not to open a case – if you give them enough information to open a case you may find that the county or state will get involved, without your having intended for them to, at which point neither you nor your ex will have much power to stop whatever social services may decide to do.

Another route, if you are *very* concerned about this and definitely want it to stop, would be to have your attorney write to his attorney (or him directly) insisting that the practice stop, and advising him that if it doesn’t, you will file a motion with the court to get a court order ordering that she no longer shower with the children.

Finally, to put your mind at ease, talk with the children’s pediatrician to find out whether, in fact, the children could contract herpes in this manner.