Are You Ready to Juggle Dating and Your Custody Schedule?
Dating can be a very fun and exciting experience that can sometimes lead to a life long relationship with a loved one. Many co-parents turn to dating in order to get their life back on track and help them move on after a divorce. Many people don’t realize that this can be potentially dangerous in some situations. There are a number of repercussions that can occur if you do not handle the dating situation appropriately. Your divorce and custody schedule will play a critical role in your ability to date. You have to ask yourself are you ready to juggle dating and your custody schedule?
Preparing yourself emotionally for dating
This is probably a very emotional time for you and your family. Going through a divorce and trying to cooperate with your co-parent to create a child custody agreement can be very difficult. It’s not a very good idea to add any unnecessary stress during this time. Dating can often bring on a lot of unnecessary stress to you and also your family. It is also important to understand that with a divorce you are trying to recover from your previous relationship. If you’re not fully recovered from your previous relationship, is it a very good idea to jump into another relationship so quickly?
Aside from your own emotions, dating also has the potential to cause some emotional problems in other members of your family. If you begin to date and your co-parent has not fully recovered from your divorce there may some problems that arise. If they are not happy with the fact that you’re dating they may choose to intervene somehow, which would probably not be very good for either party. Many acts of violence have occurred as a result of these emotions. Your children are also emotionally at risk. If they are not prepared for their co-parents to start dating this can be emotionally devastating to them. If they are experiencing these changes with the divorce and child custody too quickly it can be a shock to them.
Coordinating dating around your custody schedule
Another problem that co-parents often face, whether they are dating or not, is time management. If you are not completely familiar with your child custody agreement and custody schedule then managing your time as a co-parent can be very stressful. After a divorce, many co-parents need quite a bit of time in order to get used to their child custody agreement and custody schedule. It takes time to form habits. If you keep piling things onto your schedule before you have taken the time to become familiar with your schedule you’re setting yourself up for disaster. If you decide to juggle dating with your custody schedule too soon then you will be putting yourself at risk of overworking yourself. Parenting a child along with coordinating and cooperating with your co-parent can be very difficult and time-consuming. There are a number of tools available for co-parents, such as the OurFamilyWizard® Calendar, to help with this type of situation if you do decide to juggle dating and your custody schedule.
Avoiding legal headaches
In addition to the mentioned dangers of juggling dating and your custody schedule there are also more formal and legal dangers that must be accounted for. Measures must be taken before you decide to start dating again in order to cover yourself legally. Be sure to consult with a family law professional in your area before deciding if you are ready to juggle dating and your custody schedule.
NOTE: Many state and federal laws use terms like ‘custody’ when referring to arrangements regarding parenting time and decision-making for a child. While this has been the case for many years, these are not the only terms currently used to refer to these topics.
Today, many family law practitioners and even laws within certain states use terms such as ‘parenting arrangements’ or ‘parenting responsibility,’ among others, when referring to matters surrounding legal and physical child custody. You will find these terms as well as custody used on the OurFamilyWizard website.