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Dating After Divorce: What Are Your Legal Rights

Do You Have the Right to Question Your Ex About Dating?

At some point after divorce, it is likely that you and you ex will both begin dating again.  Sometimes, this process alone can cause a heightened tension between ex-spouses, but it will be especially problematic if the new person in your life (or your ex’s) is a danger to your children.  Whether it is you or your ex who is dating a potentially dangerous person, remember that it may have a negative impact on your child custody agreement. If you are concerned about the effects of dating on your children, and custody, our team of San Diego child custody attorneys at Cage & Miles, LLP can help.  We understand how important it is for your children to be safe, and we can provide legal guidance as you start dating after divorce.

Your Children and Your New Single Life

If you are reentering the dating world after a recent divorce, there are a few things to consider when it comes to your children.  First and foremost is their safety.  With regard to your custody agreement, especially if it is still an open, ongoing case, you must take extra precaution as to who you bring around your children. It is also critical to consider your children’s concerns about their mom or dad dating. They may not understand the idea of dating and may think you are replacing their mom or dad.

3 things to consider when dating after divorce are:

  1. Give it time: As excited as you are about your new love interest, it is best to wait a while before introducing him or her to your children.  Kids tend to get attached quickly and they may be heartbroken if things do not work out with your new friend, especially after the devastation of divorce and seeing their mom and dad separate.  It is in your children’s best interest to keep your dating life and your parental life separate until you believe a relationship has serious potential.
  2. Play it safe: Put yourself in the shoes of you ex.  Would you want him or her to bring a person around your child with criminal convictions, drug dependency or a history of abuse?  If the answer is no, then take that into consideration before you bring someone with that kind of history around the children.  Regardless of how reformed a person is, as everyone deserves second chances, this may not be the best time to test those waters.
  3. Let your kids move slow: Don’t rush your children into treating your new partner like family.  It is okay to keep things on a “friend” level until your children are comfortable with the idea of someone sticking around.  They may be happy to have a new friend visit the house but accepting that person as a step-parent will often take quite a while.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you are concerned about your ex’s dating choices and how they are affecting your children, our team can help.  We understand the importance of a safe, healthy living environment for your children.  If your ex is bringing a person around your children who has criminal conviction, is using drugs or alcohol or is engaging in criminal activity, you may need to reevaluate the child custody arrangement. Let our San Diego child custody attorneys review your custody agreement and examine the circumstances to determine your rights.

Contact our team to discuss your concerns.