Dating After a Divorce: When to Introduce Children to a New Partner
One of the most common issues that comes up after a divorce is finalized is when and how to expose your younger children to new love interests. This scenario can cause a lot of tension and conflict, particularly when parents introduce their kids to their significant other without first talking to the other parent. After all, the last thing a parent wants to hear when their child comes home from a visit with their ex is “I just met Mommy/Daddy’s new boyfriend/girlfriend”.
I address this issue during my divorce mediation sessions when we work out the parenting plan. Though this can be a touchy subject, it is best to have it out in the open ahead of time, so new relationships don’t become revolving doors in your kid’s lives. The topic is usually a bit awkward when it is first brought up, but parents understand the importance of tackling this issue; and after I lead them through it, they are usually very glad they discussed this and made a joint decision ahead of time.
In this excellent blog post, Roseann Vanella and Carmela DeNicola write about several important issues regarding dating after a divorce, including:
Open Communication with Your Ex
Timing after a Divorce
Length of New Relationship
Sleepovers with New Partners
Best Interests of Children