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Introducing a New Partner to Your Children After a Divorce

After going through a divorce, particularly if you have children, you may have mixed feelings about dating, and you might feel very cautious about letting your children know that you’re seeing someone. This is normal, and probably even for the best — remember, your children went through your divorce as well

The following are some tips to keep in mind if you’re feeling ready to make the introduction: 

  • Don’t rush the meeting: Because your kids have experienced a major life change, it’s important to avoid introducing your new partner right away, until you feel reasonably certain that the relationship may be long-term.
  • Make the introduction casual: There’s no need to introduce your new partner as such. Referring to them as a friend may suffice. It reduces the pressure on your kids and allows everyone to relax. It’s also helpful to avoid showing too much affection at this stage.
  • Remind them who their parents are: The presence of a new adult figure can be confusing. It’s important to reassure your children that you and your ex are their parents, and always will be. Remind them of this if they’re nervous, confused or even if they’re excited enough to want to address your new partner as they would a parent.
  • Proceed carefully, and remember to check in: Just as it’s a bad idea to rush the initial meeting, it can be confusing and harmful to the kids to rush other aspects of the relationship, such as spending more time together, moving in or remarrying. Remember to keep tabs on your kids’ feelings, and seek their input when major changes are on the horizon. 

Handling a divorce and its aftermath may be one of the most difficult experiences you’ll ever have, but there’s always a possibility you’ll meet someone new afterwards. If all goes well, you might find yourself ready to take the next step with your new partner. If you find you need help handling divorce, remarriage or parenting plans, seek out the advice and counsel of an experienced Minnesota family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart.

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