You’ve decided you’re ready for a fresh start with a new romantic partner, and yes, remarriage. After all, going through life as a single parent can be a lonely, difficult path to face by yourself. You have, of course, promised yourself you won’t remake the same mistakes you made in your first marriage, and you’ve already vetted your new fiancée as a good stepparent to your children. But not so fast. Before you can tie the knot with your spouse-to-be, you must break the news of your engagement to your ex-spouse and your children. Telling them the news directly rather than letting your them find it out from social media is the decent thing to do, especially because for the sake of your children. Also, it is not the responsibility of your ex-spouse to break the news to your children – it is your responsibility.
Depending on the age of your children, the scene and the timing of where you break the news is important. No matter their age, they are reasonable individuals and your children love you and want the best for you, but still, they may not yet understand the dynamics of an adult relationship and still hope against hope that their parents will reunite happily and life as they used to know it will go back to the way it once was. Remind them that while they, your children, remain your number one priority, and that their relationship with your ex-spouse will not be impacted and their new step-parent will not usurp that special role.
Be realistic when explaining potential changes that will occur once you and your fiancée are married and you live together as a family. Children need to understand things will be different, even though your love and commitment will remain constant. Expect some pushback from this, as some children may feel hurt and have a harsh response. Approach your children with love and understanding, but don’t apologize for your upcoming nuptials, because remarriage is not wrong, and it doesn’t negate the love you felt for their other parent.
Contact the Law Office of Palmer Rodak & Associates for a Consultation
Marriage, as you already know, is a serious affair and you should take time to reflect on whether your new partner is meant for life. Before getting married, date as long as you can, and once you feel you’ve gotten to know your partner well enough and you’re comfortable with them, consider a consultation with a family law attorney to ensure you protect yourself in the event of a future divorce or child custody issues.