Dating After Divorce With Kids — Advice from a Divorce Lawyer

Anderson & Boback Family Law
5 min readOct 16, 2018


Thinking about dating after divorce with kids? It is safe to say that most people do not want strangers around their children. So, what about when you start dating after a divorce. How do you keep the peace for your children’s sake after a divorce or a break-up? Shouldn’t everyone be somewhat comfortable with this prior to introducing anyone new to the children?

We’ve heard it all before.

A relationship ends and the next thing you one person is dating someone new. Some people move on fast from a marriage or relationship while others remain single for years — a lot of times by choice. When there are children involved remembering what you say or do, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can really impact your children and your ability to co-parent with your ex.

When you think about dating again and you have children with your ex, try not to rush into it without at least thinking about the impact this new relationship will have on your children and your relationship with them and the other parent.

Yes, it is healthy to move on but there is a lot to consider when you have children.

Communication is Key in Post-Divorce Dating

Something that can be very helpful when dealing with dating post-divorce is COMMUNICATION. Now not everyone is able to communicate effectively and maybe that is a reason the relationship failed but when you have children you have to keep trying. It is healthy to discuss some dating boundaries with your ex, solely for purposes of the children. Maybe you both could agree not to introduce new significant others to the children until a certain amount of time has passed. For example, some parties agree not to bring a new significant other around their children until they have been dating the person for six months or a year.

It is not a bad idea to wait to introduce your children to a new partner. You want to make sure you really know the person you are dating but honestly, you should make sure your ex is somewhat comfortable with this new person being around your children, as well.

Planning Ahead: Agreements Regarding Dating After Divorce

As Chicago divorce lawyers, we see many divorcing couples make agreements that their children will not be introduced to new “significant others” until a certain amount of time has passed since the divorce. They have a common goal that they do not want to confuse the children with new people coming in and out of their lives. Of course, not all exes are able to agree to something like that and for those people, they often have a lot of negativity between themselves for years to come.

It is all about RESPECT. If you want respect, you have to give it as well. Sounds easy but it can be very difficult, especially after the breakdown of a marriage or the break up of a long-term relationship when kids are involved.

It is up to you but having some sort of AGREEMENT with the other parent could potentially alleviate a lot of unnecessary drama.

New Relationship? Consider All Possible Outcomes

Parents are typically deemed fit. They are able to make decisions about who comes around their children. However, it is not a bad practice to make sure you really know your new significant other before introducing him or her to your children.

You want your children to be protected. That really goes without saying but what about other problems that come from introducing a significant other too soon? Your children may not be ready to see you start dating. In the alternative, maybe your children would be happy to see you with a new significant other. Lucky you, if your children like your new partner. That is great but what if it doesn’t work out. You break up with the new partner and now the children are upset that the new person they liked is gone. It’s important when you start dating after divorce, to think about all possible outcomes.

Are Your Kids Ready for You to Start Dating After Your Divorce?

Sometimes children just need TIME to get used to the new arrangements of life after their parents split up or having a parent start dating after divorce. Introducing them to a new significant other before they are emotionally ready is only going to cause issues in your relationship with them.

In divorce and custody cases, we’ve seen THERAPY be very helpful for children as they process this difficult change in their lives. Remember that no matter how mature your children are, they are still children. They need your support and seeking professional help is a great tool to help them cope with the change.

Divorce and Breakups Are Hard on Children

When parents divorce or breakup it can be very hard on children. You know what makes it even worse? When their parents don’t have a healthy co-parenting relationship because they cannot put their differences aside.

If you have children and your relationship ends with the other parent, you have to do your best to put any negative feelings for the other parent aside. As divorce attorneys, we know that is often easier said than done. Just keep in mind, the ability to focus on what is best for your children and not the failed marriage or relationship will help in the long run. If you and your ex can get to a healthy place where you’re able to effectively co-parent, then that is one less stressor your child will have to deal with. When the times comes to introduce your children to your new partner, you will be able to focus on that alone. Your children will be more comfortable with this if they know you and your ex are okay in your new roles as co-parents.

Divorce and breakups can be hard on kids, especially when parents move on to dating and new romantic relationships. As divorce lawyers, we help our clients address and navigate all the changes ahead. Contact Anderson & Boback if you have questions about divorce or custody related matters including how to address dating after divorce with kids.




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