When a pair of Washington parents decide to move on in life without each other, it can be stressful trying to help children rebound. Divorce prompts many changes in family life although it certainly does not have to ruin it. If a parent later decides to start dating again, there are several things he or she will want to keep in mind regarding introducing a new partner to the children.
Children may be less stressed by meeting a parent’s new partner if they do so in surroundings with which they are most familiar. Also, if the kids have a favorite meal or like to play board games or video games, it is a good idea to include such foods or activities in the planned gathering. It is also helpful if the new partner learns as much as possible about the children ahead of time, so that he or she may feel less awkward and will be prepared with topics of conversation and other ways to interact.
It is understandable that a parent would want the kids to like a new partner. However, it is best not to put any pressure on them. For instance, if they seem shy or do not want to engage in a lot of conversation, it is a good idea to respect their wishes, and let them get to know the person better and start to feel more comfortable around him or her.
When Washington parents divorce, they often incorporate rules about introducing new partners to children in their custody agreements. An existing court order might have written terms that state one parent must introduce a new partner to the other parent before letting him or her meet the kids. As in all matters of custody, visitation and child support, if a parent disobeys a court order, the court’s intervention can be sought to help resolve the problem.