After getting married and settling down to a new life in California, a spouse doesn’t likely expect that, one day, he or she will be filing a petition for divorce. No one “expects” divorce, but most people understand that certain issues can arise that cause irreparable problems in a relationship. As a parent, a top priority in moving on in life after a marriage ends is the children’s well-being.
When should a parent start dating again? When and how should he or she introduce new romantic partner to the children. Is there ever reason to date without introducing the partner in question to one’s children? There are several things to keep in mind when pondering such questions.
First, the ages and maturity levels of the children in question may have significant impact on the parent’s decision about whether to let the kids meet the new partner. If the kids are aware that their parent is dating, they will likely ask a lot of questions, and the partner no doubt wants to know more about the kids as well. Scheduling a meeting time, as well as an ending time for the first meeting is helpful, and choosing a location where children feel safe and not intimated may help keep stress to a minimum.
It is possible that co-parents have incorporated rules in their custody agreement for new partner introductions. For instance, some co-parents agree that they must introduce a new partner to the other parent first, and that he or she must be aware of a planned meeting to introduce the person to the children. If these stipulations have been included in an existing court order, there is little guess work involved because both parents must adhere to them. Legal problems can unexpectedly occur after divorce if a parent disregards a court order or a new partner oversteps his or her boundaries in making decisions regarding the children. The sooner such problems are resolved the better, which is why a parent is wise to stay closely connected to an experienced California family law attorney, in case a legal obstacle arises.