Introducing a new partner to your children

Upon separation, one potentially contentious topic is when to introduce a new partner to the children. There is always the likelihood that a separated partner will go on to meet someone else who they consider could be a long term partner, and will want to introduce that new partner to the children.

It is commonplace for the other parent to have concerns about this, some borne out of genuine welfare concern, some borne out of bitterness and jealousy, and it is essential to consider whether there is any legal standing preventing you from making that introduction.

Once it is established that there are no safeguarding issues in respect of the new partner, the starting point is that there is nothing to prevent the meeting taking place, provided the parent making the introduction has the children’s best interests at heart. Should the other parent feel that the meeting is not appropriate, then he/she would need to make a court application to prevent the children from spending time with the new partner. There would need to be justification, however, for taking such a step. Reasons could be, for example, the new partner having a history of aggressive, abusive or inappropriate sexual behaviour.

The parent making the introduction must take into account the age and personalities of the children, and the speed of the introduction.

Whilst it seems that the other parent has restricted grounds to prevent any introduction, in an ideal world, the courteous way to go about the introduction would be for both parents to be in conversation with each other. If in any doubt about making such an introduction, it is always wise to seek advice from a solicitor.

Carol Robinson is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors.

Ipswich Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email