Dating Considerations After Your Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, or are recently divorced, you may feel overwhelmed regarding the division of marital assets, the calculations for child support, as well as the determinations regarding child visitation and child custody matters. However, as the challenges of a divorce begin to settle down and agreements are reached between you and your ex-spouse regarding these major decisions, you may actually consider dating again. If you are considering dating, you are not alone. Statistics show that over 65% of women make the decision to date again within the first year after their divorce. If you have children, you may want to make special considerations as you make the leap to rejoin the dating scene. Consider the following as you start dating again, as it could affect your child visitation or child custody in the future.

Take Time to Reassure Your Children

If you are making the decision to start dating again, you should first take a considerable amount of time to reassure your children of your decision. Children may feel understandably anxious regarding their parents starting to date other people. Make sure to let them know that they will always be your first priority in your life. One way to explain this to your children is to say that they have friends that they have the opportunity to spend time playing with. You are also looking for friendships with people that have common interests. When you frame your dating experience simply as looking for new friends, your children may have a better understanding of why you are taking time away from them. If it turns out that your children become defensive or angry, do not retaliate with your own anger. Always acknowledge their feelings, and consistently reassure them that they will always be a priority in your life.

Take Introductions Cautiously

If you begin to date other people, you may want to take time to consider when and where you will ever introduce a new partner to your children. Even if you make the decision to date several people, it may not be the best idea to introduce all of these people to your children. Children truly do not understand the dating process, and they may become attached to some of your new friends quite quickly. Having a consistent stream of people through your home and your life may cause your kids serious anxiety. Children long for a stable environment, so take the time to consider whether or not to introduce new people to your children. While everyone will have a different level of comfort, many experts believe that you should not introduce anyone to your children unless you truly expect that you will have a great likelihood of either marrying them or spending a great deal of time with them. Children can take breakups quite seriously and will feel as if another person is ripped away from them if you break up with your new significant other.

Reconsider Sleepovers

Additionally, because children feel protective of their home and the time they spend with you, it may be wise to reconsider whether or not you have sleepovers at your home with your new partner. Many children may feel confused, anxious, angry, or even threatened when a stranger or a new person is spending a significant amount of time in their home, including on overnight visits. Take time to make the decision whether or not you truly want to have your significant other spend the night while you still have children in your home.

Be Honest With Your New Significant Other or With Your Dates

Honesty is the best policy in any situation. This is especially true as you begin the dating process again. You should always let your date or a significant other know that you have children and their importance in your life. This is important because as you make decisions in your relationship they will have a better understanding as to why you are making those decisions and create a solid foundation upon which a strong new relationship can be built.

Dating and Child Custody

If your previous spouse finds out that you are gone from the home for significant periods of time while you have either visitation or custody of your children, or if you are having several people spend the night while your children are present in your home, your ex-spouse may make the decision to file a child custody modification order. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular situation, there may be circumstances under which you lose substantial amounts of your custody time due to your decisions in the dating process. Visiting with an experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and ensure your child custody visitation time is protected.

Visit With an Experienced Attorney

If you are recently divorced and entering the dating scene, consult with an experienced divorce lawyer at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Mooresville, North Carolina by calling 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 modify them to your benefit. Contact us by phone or online today for your free consultation.