By Debra L. Rubin

Your marriage is over, your divorce is almost finalized, but your social life has moved on and now there is someone new in your life.  Great for you, but a reason to exercise caution around your children.

So, when is the right time to introduce a significant other to your children?  There is no exact moment that you can put on a calendar, or a magical number of days you should wait; there are however, some best practices when approaching the situation.

If you are romantically involved with a person, and your divorce is not finalized, it is a good idea to keep that romantic relationship out of sight from your children.  That means, do not bring your significant other to your home, introduce him or her to your children, or even engage in casual conversation with them around your kids.   Even if your kids seem 100% fine, your divorce is a major life change for them, which should not be further complicated by your new romantic relationship.

If your new relationship is casual, whether your divorce is final or not, best practice dictates that you do not bring this person into your home life.  Children dealing with a divorce need as much stability as possible, so introducing numerous new people who will come and go is not in the best interest of your children.

Once your divorce is finalized you still must exercise caution around your children, as this is a new and delicate situation for everyone.  How your child reacts will depend on their age, personality, their relationship with your ex and their relationship with you.  They should never be made to feel that your new partner is a substitute for your former spouse.