When to introduce a new partner to your children is a question we get asked a lot. With Children and Divorce, there are steps you can take to minimize the negative effect. During the divorce process it can be discussed. Not all of the time is it placed in the stipulation. However, in mediation, this always gets talked about because mediation is about family preservation. In the negations for divorce couples must agree on the amount of time passed before any new partner can be introduced to the child.
In the discussion, which most times is fair and just when it gets decided how long before the child meets a new partner. The factor that is most prevalent is the age of the child. Children get attached in different ways at different stages of their life. If his or her parents have suffered a bitter divorce and the children have been victims, caught in the crossfire, then this child would need to heal from the trauma before a new parent came in to the picture. If the parents divorced through amicable means, say mediation where both parties were able to discuss, cooperate and actually re-establish their relationship outside the marital components and manage a parent only relationship then the child would most likely have an easier adjustment in meeting with his or her parent’s new partner. However, reasonable amount of time is necessary out of respect for the child’s adjustment to the divorce.
Since a younger child may attach more than say an adolescent child it is wise to manage the attachment. If the new relationship fails this child who became attached suffers a new loss when the new partner is out of the picture. When the child is young the attachment becomes stronger since most likely the parent is spending time with the child while spending time with the new partner. The best advice is to arrange the dating process with the new partner while the child is with their other parent, at least until this new relationship has the potential for permanency.
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