One of the tricky parts about starting your life over again after a divorce is dating again. It can be hard to hide the fact that you are interested in dating if your children are living with you as their primary caregiver, but you should try to protect them from having to face that part of your new life too soon. When you are in a custody battle, consider these things before introducing a partner to your children.
Consideration #1: Take Time Before Entering a Serious Relationship
Although casual dating can be fun when your children are staying with your ex, you should take your time before entering a serious relationship. Your behavior can be scrutinized during a custody battle, and you need to be careful about who you allow into your life and especially discerning about who you allow into the lives of your kids.
Consideration #2: Only Introduce Committed Partners to Your Children
Wait to introduce a new love interest to your kids until you are sure that you are serious about the person and vice versa. It can further complicate your kids' adjustment to life after the divorce if they get attached to your partner, only to lose them. Introducing your kids to multiple partners can also compromise your ability to present yourself as a responsible parent who is focused on the well-being of your children.
Consideration #3: Be Proactive to Prevent Feelings of Rivalry Towards a Partner
It is common for children to see a parent's new love interest as a potential rival for their time and affection. Your kids may fear that you won't be as interested in taking trips with them or in seeing them on weekends if you have a new partner who may monopolize your time. Nip this common fear in the bud early on by letting your kids know that they are always going to be the people you want to see more than anyone and reassure them of your love and dedication.
Consideration #4: Be Open About Keeping Your Children as the Top Priority
When it comes to spending time with your new partner, you need to be in a relationship with someone who understands that your children will remain your top priority. You need to be able to leave at the drop of a hat if your child is injured or has even a small emergency when you need to be by their side. Being second, third, or fourth priority is not something everyone can handle, so be sure to be up front about your intentions with potential partners.
Finally, keep in mind that your children will come to understand that you have to be able to live a full, happy life that involves romance. The time for this realization is probably not going to be in the immediate aftermath of a divorce, though. Focus on your kids through the custody case, and there will rarely be a reason to introduce new partners for to your children until well after a divorce has been settled. For more information on how to proceed during a custody battle, contact services like Kenneth J. Molnar Attorney.