After your divorce is final, you’ll probably want to start seeing what’s out there. It may be the first time in a long time, so be prepared: the dating scene has changed. However, dating as a single parent is a very delicate issue, and it can also have some legal challenges.

You can date whoever you want.

We recently wrote about how you should avoid trying to date while your divorce is ongoing, but once it’s done: you have the freedom to date whoever you like. Finding someone to date is not as simple as anyone would like, but there are no additional barriers to forming or pursuing a relationship. However, once you start dating someone, you will have new complications.

Introducing them to your kids can be complex.

As a single parent, you must navigate how your new relationship will fit into your family. You’ll have to ask yourself:

  • Do I want to introduce them to my kids?
  • When is that appropriate?
  • Are they ready to do that?
  • Are my kids ready for that?
  • Am I ready for that?

But more than that, you must realize that your ex may have some say. It is common for parenting plans to include language regarding introducing new partners to children. Navigating the minefield that is the introduction of a new romantic partner to your family is complex and understandably intimidating.

What will your future look like?

It’s often important to understand your goals in your relationship, for yourself if not for your new partner. Do you want to get married again? Are you just enjoying company? These questions matter.

How you ultimately move forward in your relationships, whether it is formalized in a marriage or not will be your decision. However, a second marriage may be much easier if you consider how you will enter it from a legal perspective before it gets to that point.