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Dating After Divorce: Consider the Children

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Children of Divorce

dating after divorce, impacts of divorce, Illinois family lawyersConsidering all that you have been through during your marriage and divorce, nobody should deny you the opportunity to pursue happiness in your post-divorce life. You have the right to enjoy your new situation to its fullest, and, for many, that may mean starting a new romantic relationship. Casual dating and even a new, serious love interest can be very beneficial for your health and self-esteem following a divorce, but there are some things to keep in mind, especially if you have children.

It May Take Time

While you may have the freedom to pursue dating relationships after your divorce, you may not be ready for it immediately. This, of course, depends on what type of dating you are considering and your own emotional health. If you are ready to casually meet people for dinner and drinks on occasion, you probably have nothing to worry about. If you move directly from your marriage into another long-term serious relationship, you may want to give it a second thought, as you may not have healed yet from psychological impact that is usually inherent in divorce.

As a parent, you also need to provide your children a period of adjustment. Depending on their ages and maturity level, children are unlikely to understand the dynamic of a new relationship and can feel like you are trying to replace their other parent. These feelings can quickly lead to resentment and fears that they, also, are replaceable.

Set Ground Rules

Especially in situations where both parents each spend time with the children, it is important to develop a set of guidelines regarding new relationships and how they are to be approached with the kids. You and your ex should try to reach an agreement, or at least a level of trust, that new partners will not be introduced to the children too soon. What constitutes "too soon" will be up to you, but will depend on how your children are equipped to handle the situation. It may also be helpful to set boundaries regarding the roles of new partners regarding discipline, pick-up and drop-off, and other concerns.

Be Self-Aware

It is also very important to set limits for yourself as well. Following your divorce, it may be tempting to create an entirely new reality and persona. However, it can be easy to become fully engulfed in your new life to the exclusion of your existing responsibilities. For example, if you find yourself needing a sitter for your children every weekend they are with you so you can go on dates, you may need to scale it back. Dating is perfectly fine after your divorce, but neglecting your children is not.

Compassionate Legal Advice

If you have questions about the divorce process or how a child custody arrangement may be affected by the post-divorce behavior of either parent, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. At A. Traub & Associates, we are proud to help clients find the happiness they deserve following a divorce and are ready to answer any questions you may have.


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