Yaffa Family Law Group
By: Doreen Yaffa

Introducing Children to Significant Others After Divorce

Child Custody, Custody and Support, Divorce

A common question asked after a divorce is when should I introduce my children to my new significant other? The answer is, like most things in life, timing is key. Children need time to adjust to their parent’s split and that takes time.

The first step is to discuss this with your co-parent. Set boundaries and rules for each other when it comes to introducing your children to new partners. According to pop culture news outlets, Kanye West stated that his soon to be ex-wife’s new boyfriend, Pete Davidson, will “never meet my children.” Not having this conversation with your children’s other parent can cause your co-parent to lash out like Kanye West did, and the best way to avoid that is discussion. You may want to require you and your co-parent give some information about the new partner or any boundary the two of you want to set to make everyone in the situation comfortable.

Unfortunately, breakups happen, and you don’t want children to get caught in the middle. Setting a timeline for when everyone is ready for your children to meet new partners is a great idea. Depending on your child’s age, they may still be hoping their parents reconcile. This would mean that introducing them to your new partner may cause them to react negatively, see them as a rival, and just cause an unhappy, unhealthy situation for everyone involved. You may want to wait until you and your new partner have been together for a certain amount of time before your children meet them. This will give your children time to get used to the new situation they’re in and ensure you’re not introducing your children to just anyone.

Once you feel you and your children are ready to take that next step and introduce them to your new partner, meeting in an informal setting may help your kids feel more relaxed. Rather than planning a long visit, it’s best to have a brief, casual meeting with few expectations.

In sum, the key to successful parenting post-divorce is helping your children heal from your breakup and introducing them to someone new too soon may damage this process. Consider the amount of time since your divorce, the age of your children, and the level of commitment to your partner. Waiting on introducing a new significant other to your kids will pay off for everyone in the long run.