An amicable separation and divorce can sometimes become strained when new relationships start. New significant others often cause new emotional reactions that can subsequently impact parenting. In order to preemptively address the problems that can arise when new relationships start, in collaborative divorce, we often come up with parameters to address significant others.
Here are some potential options to consider when thinking about agreements on significant others. Any or all may be included in a parenting plan.
- One option is to not allow the children to be introduced to any significant others without agreement of the other parent.
- Sometimes parents like to have a period of time (such as six months or one year) after the divorce is final when no significant other shall be introduced to the children.
- An introduction to a significant other may only occur when a neutral parenting expert (such as a child specialist in the collaborative divorce process) recommends that it is appropriate to do so.
- Parents often keep some aspirational language in the decree such as: “Both parents understand that it is in the best interest of the children to support the children’s relationship with any long-term significant other of the other parent and shall make all reasonable efforts to do so.”
There are a number of ways to address significant others in the parenting plan. Indeed, some work on the front end, can help prevent significant stress and strain later. Talk to a collaborative professional to learn more.Tagged with: children's emotional adjustment to divorce • Collaborative Practice • new significant others • parenting plan