There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to navigating a divorce and child custody. One such challenge is when you begin dating again. Do you introduce your new significant other to your child’s other parent? There are a lot of elements to this question including the best interest of the child, your relationship with your new significant other, and how the court views these things. Let’s take a closer look.
The Best Interest of the Child
The legal ramifications in terms of custody agreements are whatever is in the best interest of the child. Introducing a new partner to the other parent may not impact the best interest of the child if the significant other has no role in the child’s life. However, if the significant other will be materially in the child’s life, then communicating this to the other parent is important. A new significant other can confuse children or even create feelings of resentment and anger in children. The best way to deal with this is to have both parents working in concert to understand that it’s okay and the partner is not replacing a parent as a new mom or dad. They need to know it’s okay to like the new partner.
Your Relationship with Your New Partner
Any communication about new dating relationships can be very difficult if your co-parenting relationship is strained. But if the new partner is going to be a part of your life long term, it’s best to have a concise, straight-forward, and business-like discussion. Introducing your new partner to your child’s other parent in a cordial manner will begin to build bridges. However, if the other parent is hostile, don’t respond in kind. Keep the same cordial and concise manner and simply let them know the invitation to meet is open whenever they are ready.
The Position of Georgia Courts
While it’s always encouraged for parents to discuss these matters and come to a mutual agreement, we also know that isn’t always possible. So how does the law view the situation? It will vary from court to court, but not introducing a material significant other to the other parent is almost always considered a negative. It’s still best to go back to the rules of communication under the previous paragraph. Keep your communication appropriate and have it in writing so you have a chain of documentation. The other parent will either be a good co-parent for the benefit of your child or become the villain, which is never in the best interest of the child.
Do you want to know more about introducing a new significant other to your child’s other parent?