Dating After Divorce

Many people find themselves in a completely different place in their lives after a divorce. After all of the negotiations have settled in a divorce, including the equitable distribution of property, spousal support, child support calculations, and child visitation schedules, you may finally be in a position to consider dating again. However, if you have children, you may want to consider a few key issues before you make the decision to date again. In certain circumstances, if dating is handled inappropriately or incorrectly by one spouse, the other spouse may have a legitimate reason to file a child custody modification in court. Consider the following as you begin your new life after a divorce and as you enter the dating scene.

Dating After Divorce

Over 65% of women make the decision to start dating following their divorce within the first year. However, there are certain special considerations for people with children before they launch themselves into the dating world. Divorced parents have unique circumstances and should make sure their dating decisions do not in any way harm or pose a threat to their child custody visitation schedule.

Children are the Priority

If you are making the decision to finally start dating after your divorce, your first step should be to visit with your children and have a conversation regarding your decision to date. The most important part of this conversation should be that they will always be considered your first priority. Many children feel anxious when their parents leave to date other people because they feel that they are losing them all over again. If your child ever becomes defensive, anxious, frustrated, or angry, do not retaliate but rather make sure to check in and remind them that they are a priority in your life.

Introductions to New Significant Others

While you have the right date anyone you choose, you may take the time to consider whether or not you want to introduce every one of these new people to your children. If you begin to develop a bit of a constant ever-changing and unstable environment in your home, your ex-spouse may have legal grounds to request a child custody modification order. While you have a right to date, if you begin leaving your children home alone for long periods of time to do so, or if you are consistently introducing your children to new people, leaving them anxious and stressed, your ex-spouse may consider this grounds for child custody modification. Make sure to seriously consider whether or not to introduce someone you are dating to your children.

Additionally, you will want to take serious time to consider whether or not you want to have any of your new significant others spend the night at your home while your children are present. If you have several different people spending the night in your home while your children are there, your ex-spouse may also have reason to request a child custody modification order.

Listen to Your Children

You have the right to move on with your life and try to find a new partner. However, your children may have serious challenges coping with the fact that you are divorced and are now dating other people. In some cases, children will act out and be manipulative in order to attempt to control the situation or to regain your full attention. Always try to limit this type of behavior, and if you feel that your children are becoming increasingly agitated or anxious, consider visiting with a family therapist to help you navigate this new situation.


Not only should you be honest with your date that you have children, but you should also be honest with your children that you are dating. Honesty is always the best policy, and letting everyone know exactly what page you are on ensures that everyone understands your priorities. Your children will understand that they are a priority in your life, and your new significant other will also understand that you place your children as a priority.

Visit With an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are recently divorced and entering the dating scene, consider visiting with an experienced divorce lawyer at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, Mooresville or Monroe North Carolina at 704.370.2828. We can help you understand your legal rights and how to ensure you keep your custody arrangements the way they currently are or discuss your options regarding modification options. Contact us by phone or online today to schedule your consultation.