Should I Include my New Partner in my Parenting Time?
After a divorce, it is natural to want to date again. Many of us go on to do just that in the months and years following our divorces. It is also not uncommon for a new partner to eventually become a new spouse and for new children to enter the picture. When you have a child from a previous relationship, it can be difficult to know when to introduce him or her to your new partner. As much as you would like them to get to know each other and build a positive relationship, you might have doubts about whether this would have a negative impact on your relationship with your child.
Do not fret. This is all very normal for a divorced parent. Although every parent’s situation and relationship with his or her child is unique, there are a few clear-cut guidelines that every parent should follow when determining when to introduce his or her child to his or her new partner.
Wait Until you are in a Committed Relationship
Most casual dating relationships ought to be kept separate from your relationship with your child. Once you’ve met someone with whom you have a positive, nurturing relationship, with a level of commitment to each other, it may be time to introduce him or her to your child. Think in terms of months about this. When you and your new partner reach somewhere around the six-month mark, it is probably a good time to assess the idea of introducing him or her to your child. Do not rush this and if your child seems to be having a hard time processing the divorce, do not spring a new relationship on him or her.
Parenting Time is About your Child and You
The time you spend with your child is just that – quality time spent together. So should you include your new partner in activities with your child? If you determine that he or she is going to be with you for an extended period of time and that he or she would be a positive influence on your child, consider planning an outing that includes your new partner. But remember, this is not a date. It is your parenting time, and the focus needs to be on maintaining a quality relationship with your child.
You know your child best. Choose an activity that he or she enjoys and finds comfort in doing and do not put any unnecessary pressure on him or her to make an instant connection to your new partner.
Work with an Experienced Highland Park Family Attorney
As a family attorney, I have extensive experience working with divorced and divorcing parents. To learn more about how to navigate the challenging road of parenting after divorce, contact me to set up a consultation.
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