Ottawa Divorce .com Forums


User CP

New posts

Advertising

  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Divorce & Family Law

Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-12-2012, 04:05 AM
SingingDad SingingDad is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 353
SingingDad is on a distinguished road
Default Introducing a new partner to young kids

Hi everyone,

I know this is a touchy subject for some, and I know I got some comments when I was considering putting a clause for how to introduce new partners into my offer to settle (for peoples information I chose to remove that section all together). But I wanted get some peoples views on my situation and how introducing my new partner to my kids might affect my chances in court if it should go that far.

I have three young Children (3, 7, 11) I have been seeing the same woman for about a year now, but have not introduced her to my kids because I was waiting until there was a stable access agreement and the kids had some stability in their living arrangements. Now we are going on 15 months with no resolution (we have a settlement conference soon where I hope something will be agreed upon), and I'm wondering how it would affect things in court if that's where we end up.

My new girlfriend is older than me and has two older children (17, 19). We've been together for about a year now so the relationship is stable, but she is out of town 3 days a week Sept-April. I really want her to be a part of my whole life not just my life when I don't have my kids.

I'm leery of how my STBX will react when she finds out (my new relationship is why things went to hell about 10 months ago), and how she will try to spin it in court. I'm also cautious because I want my kids to feel secure and I worry about them feeling like I'm replacing their mom or that I'm not giving them my full attention when they are with me. The last thing I want to do is strain my relationship with my kids when little has been decided between myself and my STBX.

If you were in a similar situation how would you approach it?

How would go about introducing a new partner to young kids?

Should I wait until there is an agreement/order in place?

Sorry for the long post, but this is something that I have been thinking about for a while.

SD
  #2  
Old 07-12-2012, 05:02 AM
Mess Mess is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,448
Mess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the rough
Default

There is nothing to spin, people start relationships and many eventually remarry. There is nothing against the law about it and nothing to complain about in court.

We can't answer about how your ex will spin it, we don't know her. You are the best person to answer that.

You have a year long, stable relationship, there is nothing wrong with introducing her to your kids. The only thing your ex could complain about is if the children become upset and react badly. Even so, unless you were a real dolt about handling it, there is nothing a judge would say, this is a part of life.

Your best bet is to handle compassionately with your kids, and no pressure. Me, I would start by telling them you have been seeing someone for a while and ask them if they want to meet her.

I would not give your ex a heads up beforehand, because of how you describe her. I would do this when you have the children with you for a more extended period; will you be having them for a week or more during the summer? Have the basic discussion, a short chat that you are seeing someone, early in the week, then ask a couple of days later about possibly meeting, and go with how they are feeling. Then let the ex know you brought it up just before you send them back. The ex will react badly no matter how you tell her, so don't worry about her. Do it this way to prevent the ex from making any comments with the kids until after you have had the basic conversations with them.
  #3  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:52 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hamilton
Posts: 3,732
HammerDad will become famous soon enough
Default

I wouldn't both letting the ex know either. It's your life and you don't need to explain or otherwise justify how you live to your ex.....she is your ex, she no longer gets a say in how you live your life.

Yeah, she can get mad all she wants. But you are entitled to move on.

I would introduce the kids in a very informal environment. Something where they get to have fun and stress about the situation.
  #4  
Old 07-12-2012, 10:57 AM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,812
Pursuinghappiness will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
I'm leery of how my STBX will react when she finds out (my new relationship is why things went to hell about 10 months ago), and how she will try to spin it in court.
I guess I'm always continuously amazed at the level of both emotional and sometimes physical involvement people maintain with hostile ex's after divorce. I have zero idea what happens at my ex's house...or in his personal life...or what women he may have introduced to our kids. Its none of my business and I don't care. As our kid's father, he needs to make those decisions on his own.

My advice is to stop worrying about or asking yourself about how to prepare yourself for your ex's reaction. Its irrelevant what she wants or how she feels in regard to your personal relationships...you are no longer connected as a couple. I'd be far, far more concerned about your new partner and how she feels about being a potential step-mother to 3 very small children....that can be a tough job.

I would approach this very simply by determining whether or not you personally are sure this is a person that you are going to have a longterm relationship with...and if so, do it gradually. Casual events where the kids have a lot of other distractions and move on to more one-on-one things when the kids start feeling comfortable around her.

Unless this new person has a pretty damaging police record, there's nothing you ex can do about her in court action. I've heard about the argument being made in custody evaluations that people are trying to replace mom or dad with new partners but it doesn't seem to carry a lot of weight.

Good luck!
  #5  
Old 07-12-2012, 11:17 AM
Rioe's Avatar
Rioe Rioe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3,272
Rioe will become famous soon enough
Default

I'm the opposite of all the people here, I guess. My advice is always not to even date or think about a new partner until there's a solid court order in place. No, it's not right at all that your life should be on hold, but even previously amicable exes can make soooooo much trouble once a new SO enters the picture. It's just easier to delay a new relationship than it is to dig out of a bad situation with a difficult ex making trouble due to jealousy or anger.

You are a bit past that, because your ex knows you have a girlfriend, and you've already seen that this development has made her become more of a challenge to deal with. Hopefully you've reached new stability and are moving forward in your legal matters again, but taking the next step of introducing the girlfriend to your children may be another huge setback with your ex.

There's no way to win here. If you tell the kids and tell the ex you did so, she'll be emotionally vengeful all over again because she feels replaced as a mother to them. If you don't tell the ex because it's none of her business, she'll find out sooner or later from the kids, and then have the same reaction as above but also worse because there'll be anger that you didn't let her know.

Her past reaction to you getting a girlfriend pretty much guarantees she's not going to react well to the new development of your kids hanging out with the girlfriend too. And that will only make your dealings with her more difficult, and your agreement that much further from becoming reality.

I think your choices are to keep going as is, and push for an agreement, then introduce the girlfriend to the kids, or to introduce them now, and then find that there is more stress on your relationship and that the agreement takes much longer to finalize. It's wrong, but you have to keep the overall goal in mind.

I don't think a judge will care about new relationships, but your ex could make delays and increase legal costs and create stress, etc, because she certainly seems to care. At least wait to see what your settlement conference produces.

Personally, I always like to have one thing finished before moving on to the next. If your girlfriend understands, she's definitely a keeper.

Last edited by Rioe; 07-12-2012 at 11:20 AM.
  #6  
Old 07-12-2012, 11:42 AM
blinkandimgone's Avatar
blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 5,267
blinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura about
Default

IMO, it should be treated as the two seperate issues they are. I would definitely introduce the kids slowly, either in their own environment or on neutral ground, keep it short, light and fun for the first few visits. Avoid gifts or special activities during the introductions as the kids may come to associate those things with the new person and the shine may wear off quickly when things are just 'normal' giving the kids a feeling of disappointment.

Perhaps a trip to the park (dog park if you're a dog person?), BBQ at home or some other casual activity.

They need to meet eventually and being divorced or in the process of divorce shouldn't impact that if you feel the kids are ready to handle someone new in your life.
  #7  
Old 07-12-2012, 11:45 AM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,812
Pursuinghappiness will become famous soon enough
Default

Rioe:

I guess I have to disagree.

After separation, you can't control when you meet a person that you're compatible with.

You spend so much married time (or I did) worrying about an irrational and angry partners reaction to everything. Its ridiculous that after separation one might still be walking on eggshells due to their ex's idiotic behavior. When you're getting divorced, you need to stop that habit immediately.

In my opinion, you have to let this go and move on. What they think, feel, or react badly to is their problem...not yours. If you live in fear of what they might do in court, you're in for a very long, protracted battle.

I don't bend to my ex's crap in court...I meet him head on everytime with relevant facts and let him blabber on about exactly this type of nonsense and its gotten me pretty far. In fact, its a strategy for me when he goes on and on about irrelevant nonsense in court because I skip to relevant things when its my turn and his crap gets ignored. It also helped in my custody assessment that he looked "controlling" when he went on and on about my bf...how I live my life...while I concentrated on parenting issues.

I say let her freak out. Let her look like a loon in court. Hostile exes find ANY reason to drag stuff out in court..regardless of whether you're seeing someone else or not because they're usually control-freaks.

The idea of spending your divorce like marriage...still tiptoeing around an ex's mood swings is absolutely absurd, in my opinion. Its your new life...you have a right to privacy, choice, and freedom. If you continue to let her push you around, you're foolish.
  #8  
Old 07-12-2012, 11:57 AM
Tayken's Avatar
Tayken Tayken is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 6,601
Tayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingDad View Post
Hi everyone,

I know this is a touchy subject for some, and I know I got some comments when I was considering putting a clause for how to introduce new partners into my offer to settle (for peoples information I chose to remove that section all together). But I wanted get some peoples views on my situation and how introducing my new partner to my kids might affect my chances in court if it should go that far.

I have three young Children (3, 7, 11) I have been seeing the same woman for about a year now, but have not introduced her to my kids because I was waiting until there was a stable access agreement and the kids had some stability in their living arrangements. Now we are going on 15 months with no resolution (we have a settlement conference soon where I hope something will be agreed upon), and I'm wondering how it would affect things in court if that's where we end up.

My new girlfriend is older than me and has two older children (17, 19). We've been together for about a year now so the relationship is stable, but she is out of town 3 days a week Sept-April. I really want her to be a part of my whole life not just my life when I don't have my kids.

I'm leery of how my STBX will react when she finds out (my new relationship is why things went to hell about 10 months ago), and how she will try to spin it in court. I'm also cautious because I want my kids to feel secure and I worry about them feeling like I'm replacing their mom or that I'm not giving them my full attention when they are with me. The last thing I want to do is strain my relationship with my kids when little has been decided between myself and my STBX.

If you were in a similar situation how would you approach it?

How would go about introducing a new partner to young kids?

Should I wait until there is an agreement/order in place?

Sorry for the long post, but this is something that I have been thinking about for a while.

SD
You can't anticipate what the other parent is going to do. You can react properly though.

The worst thing I have seen other parents do when a new partner is introduced is try to file a motion for contempt. It happens quite often and it can escalate conflict if you are dealing with a highly conflicted other parent.

The good thing about highly conflicted people is that they make very bad decisions consistently in their lives. Even if you are served with a motion for contempt it just stacks on to the classic theory of high conflict and judges are well aware of it.

Don't worry about it. You can't control the emotions of another human being. If the person is high conflict they will do something stupid. You can however manage your reaction to the stupidity of others.

It is amazing what a highly conflicted and over anxious person will do/say/claim before the court. Let the absurdity of it all be your evidence to the problem. Don't create more problems.

Good Luck!
tayken
  #9  
Old 07-12-2012, 01:17 PM
Rioe's Avatar
Rioe Rioe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3,272
Rioe will become famous soon enough
Default

You know, these are all valid points too. I am looking at this from my own perspective, which is doing things out of court. Being divorced is one thing - yes, the ex should have absolutely no influence on your life then. But being in the process of divorce is a completely different thing to me, and I'm personally willing to walk on eggshells to achieve that divorce sooner and more easily. I guess the usual problem with a new partner entering the situation is that reasonable negotiations with the ex may cease and you'll end up in court. I sort of thought of it as like adding fuel to a fire, and why would you want to do that, even if the fire is unreasonable and you didn't start it? But if you're already in court, maybe not much will change with developments in a new relationship.

I just worry that his ex will freak out, start witholding access or something, and then his children will suffer and we'll be advising him on that next.
  #10  
Old 07-12-2012, 02:27 PM
arabian's Avatar
arabian arabian is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 10,019
arabian will become famous soon enough
Default

Put your children's feelings and best interests first. You have the rest of your life to play house. Why on earth would you want to muddy the waters at a time when you can't resolve what is in front of you?

Everyone has a right to a life of supreme happiness. However, you are a parent first. I'd keep the love-life on the shelf where your kids are concerned unless you are comfortable with the idea of your ex grilling your kids every time sees them to get info. Human nature is what it is.

Kids come first.
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Introducing Boyfriend to Kids - Some Advise Please stressedmama Parenting Issues 31 03-17-2012 09:49 PM
Ex's New Partner Arrested in Front of Kids Teddie General Chat 2 09-01-2011 10:38 AM
Where Do I Go From Here? lorlaman Common Law Issues 9 08-08-2011 10:46 PM
Introducing a new partner HappyMomma Parenting Issues 16 07-27-2010 11:03 PM
Ex keeps introducing kids to new girlfriends ipodtouch Parenting Issues 16 08-25-2009 10:30 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:05 PM.