Dating after divorce: 8 tips to help protect a child’s emotional health when mom or dad start to date

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Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero; EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466; barbara@eafocus.com
MaryConnell Linton, Woll & Woll, 248.354.6070, mlinton@wollandwollpc.com

Birmingham, Mich. – April 26, 2016 – Beginning a new relationship after divorce can be tricky, especially if there are minor children involved. Jessica Woll, managing partner of Woll & Woll, P.C., a Michigan-based divorce and family law practice with more than 20 years of experience in complex family law issues, offers eight tips for divorced parents as they pursue a romantic life post-divorce:

1. Always let the children know they come first. Remain “child-centric” at all times, even when meeting that special person who makes the heart flutter and the stomach do somersaults.

2. Never date anyone who does not respect your relationship with your children or the notion that the children are your number one priority.

3. Don’t introduce children to a love interest until the relationship becomes serious.

“Children don’t need to be introduced to a revolving door of romantic partners,” Woll said. “Schedule initial dates on days when the children are with the other parent or hire a baby sitter; and vet dates to make sure you are always safe and sound!”

4. Depending on the child’s age, don’t completely keep him/her in the dark about your dating life.

“Keep it light until you’re sure the new love is really, truly the love of your life before including him or her in serious family matters and important events,” Woll said. “Once kids hit their pre-teen years, they do not want to feel their parent is carrying on a secret part of life. Keep the conversation and amount of information shared age appropriate in terms of what children are told about the new someone in your life.”

5. If children are in a position to meet someone before it gets serious, make it simple and initially introduce the new person as a friend.

“If a bit more of an explanation is needed, call them a ‘special friend’ or if the children are old enough, tell them it is someone you’re casually dating,” Woll said.

6. Be respectful toward the ex when developing a new relationship.

“A parent’s reaction and behavior toward the ex’s dating can directly impact children and how they feel about the new relationship,” Woll said. “Along the same lines, when your ex begins dating, don’t inflict feelings of resentment or jealousy onto the children – your feelings should never be the child’s burden to bear.”

7. Never let your new mate take the place of the other parent’s role as your child’s father or mother.

8. Trust your instincts and listen to your heart.

“It will tell you the truth every time,” Woll said. “If something does not feel right in the relationship, trust that feeling. Don’t fight your gut instinct about someone you are dating, especially when this new person may impact not only your life, but the lives of your children.”

About Woll & Woll, P.C.
Established in 1994, Woll & Woll, P.C. specializes in divorce and family law, including legal separation, post-judgment of divorce matters, removal of domicile actions, stepparent adoption, custody, child support, paternity and other family issues. Learn more at http://www.wollandwollpc.com.

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