8 steps to introducing a new partner to your child

If you could have some guidance around a better process to introducing your new partner to your child would you accept the direction? Read on if this intrigues you. Rachael Scharrer, divorce expert and Separation Strategist, has identified 8 steps to follow when contemplating introducing your new partner to your child.

First and foremost, it is important to know that with many things, there are no wrongs and no rights …. Every situation is different and needs to be adjusted based on your individual circumstance. However, there are more considered ways or more ideal ways of doing things, especially when introducing your new partner to your child.

There are three key areas that need to be considered first: the foundation of your new relationship, your child’s other parent and your child. If your new relationship is rocky or if you are uncertain, then don’t proceed with any introductions of your new partner to your family or child. Getting your child’s other parent on board, accepting of your new relationship and supportive of your child’s relationship with your new partner can either help your relationship thrive or highlight the cracks that you may have. The final key area is your child. Approaching them with sensitivity, respect and support will hep them to feel secure with the introduction of a new person to the ‘family.’

Understanding the key areas that have to be considered, it is time to review and plan for the successful introduction of your new partner. 8 steps to introducing your new partner to your child are:

  1. Ensure that you are in a long-term, committed relationship with future aspirations together. Consider the following to help your determine whether you are in a high quality, lasting relationship: a. Have you met their friends? b. Have you met their family (siblings/parents)? c. Do you share the same goals, ethics and morals? d. Have you been together for over 6 months?
  2. Talk about your new relationship with your ex-spouse or child’s other parent. It isn’t nice to be surprised to hear the news that your child’s other parent has moved on from a friend, social media or (worse) from your child.
  3. Offer a meeting between the other parent and your new partner. It could be in person or over the phone, with you present or without you. This will help to instil some confidence in the other parent and keep the trust between the child’s parents. Note: consider the appropriateness of this step with your situation
  4. Introduce the child to your new partner on common ground. A park is a great place for the child to meet a new flame and not have it thrusted in their face. It also takes the pressure off the child from having to talk to an adult that they are unfamiliar with. Avoid eating in a restaurant or café in the earlier catch-ups.
  5. Introduce the new love interest as a ‘friend.’ Introducing your new interest as a friend takes the pressure off your child having to view that person as anything but a friend. Remember to keep your physical/intimacy to a minimum or don’t have any at all in front of your child because that isn’t what you do to your other ‘friends’
  6. Keep it casual. Again, keep the pressure off your child having to do, be or say something or anything until the child has become more familiar and comfortable with the new love interest. Ensuring the comfort, safety and security of your child is your priority as a parent. Keep contact in open, public spaces and remain realistic with the speed that your child will take with your new friend.
  7. Remain child-focused and child-lead. If your child doesn’t want to see you with your love interest present, reduce the frequency of having your ‘friend’ around. If your child enjoys your ‘friend’s’ company, you can plan for time all together doing something that involves closer proximity or more direct talking
  8. Remember that slow and steady wins the race. Don’t rush and force the process. By allowing the process of your child to warm-up to your new love will make for a more successful bond between your partner and child

While your heart is swelling with love and joy for your new partner it is helpful to empathise with the others in your life and how you can help them through the process. By taking the time for a considered approach, a positive transition for everyone concerned (you, your partner, your child and your child’s other parent) is more likely.

Related articles:

Why you should avoid dating while newly separated

The law and an opinion about introducing a new love interest to your child

Step parenting 101: parenting someone else’s children

5 rules for your new partner when divorcing

The law and an opinion around introducing your new love interest to your child

Why you should avoid dating while newly separated


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. DivorceAnswered.com.au cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd