Many people date new partners in the months or years that follow their divorces. This is natural; this is human. For many divorced parents, balancing dating with a parenting plan can be tricky. One of the most challenging parts of being a divorced parent dating a new partner is determining when to introduce your new partner to your children.
It is not always an easy introduction. Children can be deeply affected by their parents’ divorces and in some cases, children dream of their parents getting back together. In a case like these, meeting a parent’s new partner can be very stressful for a child. To minimize your child’s stress when meeting your new partner, keep the following tips in mind:
Wait Until the Relationship is Serious
Do not introduce your new partner to your children after one or two dates. Children need consistency, so if you are not sure if your new relationship is going to last, hold off on introducing your kids to your new partner.
Some parents wait until they are engaged to their new partners to introduce them to their children. Others make the introduction after a specific point in the relationship, like six months or one year together. Only you know when the right time to introduce your children to your new partner will be. Consider their ages, their maturity levels, their personalities, and their feelings about your divorce to determine when this meeting should occur.
Gauge Your Children’s Recovery from the Divorce
If the mere thought of you with a new partner causes your child to cry, he or she is not ready to meet the person you are dating. Listen to what your children say and what they do not say. If your children have still not completely adjusted to life after divorce, meeting your new partner can simply be further chaos, rather than an exciting introduction.
Introduce Your New Partner Before Big Life Changes Occur
And by that we mean, before you move in together or reach another important milestone like getting married. Yes, you should wait until your relationship with your new partner is serious before you introduce him or her to your children, but your children should not come to your home and find another adult all moved in. Give your children time to accept your new partner and adjust to having him or her in their lives. It can take time. Do not try to rush this process, because that can put a permanent strain on your children’s relationship with your new partner.
Work with an Experienced Clinton Township Family Lawyer
For legal guidance and representation as you navigate the world of family law, work with one of the experienced family lawyers on our team at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. Contact our office today to set up your free initial consultation with a member of our firm, during which we will go over your case and answer all of your questions.