When you explained to your children that you were getting divorced, you likely encountered numerous challenges in the weeks that followed as they each came to terms with the situation. You and your ex got along well enough that you were able to devise an amicable co-parenting agreement.
While you may face minor problems as you move on in life, such as those that arise if the other parent cancels a scheduled visit at the last minute or doesn't show up as planned, you needn't expect there to be any major obstacles if you're both willing to cooperate and compromise as needed. However, when a new partner enters the scene, things can get complicated.
Meeting the challenge of blending families
If your children are gaining a stepparent or at least are going to be interacting with a significant other in their other parent's life, you may want to consider the following ideas to help keep stress to a minimum and to know where to seek support if a legal problem arises:
- Communication is a key factor. Make sure all the adults involved are on the same page regarding what role the new partner is to play in the children's lives.
- You are the parent and no one can undermine your parental rights.
- You may be caught off guard emotionally at seeing your former spouse in a romantic relationship with someone else. Even if you are, for the most part, okay with the idea, seeing it in person might throw you for a loop.
- In addition to mixed emotions at seeing your ex with someone new, it is understandable that you might also experience feelings of jealousy when your children show affection toward their other parent's partner.
- If your ex gets married, the stepparent will obviously have a say in how his or her household runs. If this leads to co-parenting problems because of an issue involving your kids, you may need to reach out for outside support if you are unable to peacefully settle the matter between you and your former spouse.
Like most good parents in Colorado and beyond, you want to teach your children to respect adults and to be helpful, productive and cooperative when they go stay at their other parent's house. However, if something is happening that impedes your parent/child relationship, you can seek support from a family law attorney to protect your rights and your children's best interests.