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Birmingham, Mich. –Jan. 25, 2017 – Although many romantics hope that Cupid’s arrow will strike this Valentine’s Day, relationships after divorce can be a tricky endeavor, especially if minor children are involved. Jessica Woll, managing partner of family law firm, Woll & Woll, P.C., who blogs on the firm’s website and tweets @DivorceWisdom, offers 8 tips on how divorced parents can protect the emotional health of their children when they decide to date again.
- 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.
- Never date anyone who does not respect your relationship with your children or the notion that the children are your number one priority.
- Don’t introduce children to a love interest until the relationship becomes serious.
“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!” Woll said.
- 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 truly the love of your life before including him or her in serious family matters and important events,” Woll said. “Be open with your children, but also make sure the conversation and amount of information shared is age appropriate.”
- 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.
- Be respectful toward the ex when developing a new relationship.
“How one parent reacts and behaves around their ex can directly impact the children and how they feel about the new relationship,” Woll said. “Along the same line, when your ex begins dating again, don’t inflict feelings of resentment or jealousy onto the children. Your personal feelings should never be the child’s burden to bear.”
- Never let your new mate take the place of the other parent’s role as your child’s father or mother.
- Trust your instincts and listen to your heart.
“If something does not feel right in the relationship, trust that feeling,” Woll said. 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.
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 here.