How do you navigate dating someone who's divorced and has kids?

Anna Swoboda is a Certified Dating and Relationship Coach as well as a Matchmaker whose mission is to help people who have been out of dating for a while to feel confident and skilled to jump back in and find a fabulous new partner.

Question: How should I navigate dating someone who's divorced and has children? And what's the best way to navigate my relationship with their ex?

There are a couple of important factors at play when it comes to children and exes.

The first is what sort of relationship do you ideally want to have with your partner’s kids?

Do you have kids yourself? Do you want to be a full-on step-parent, or would rather have as little do with the kids as possible? It’s very important to be honest with yourself and your partner on this and to agree on your role.

Dating expert Anna Swoboda
Relationship expert Anna Swoboda reveals how to navigate dating someone going through a divorce who has children and where the ex fits in. Photo: Supplied

The second is what the kids want. Do they want a new step-parent in their life? Often the answer is not. If that’s the case, you may want to encourage your partner to spend time with the kids alone.

The third is the attitude of the ex. Are they easy or difficult to deal with?

One word of advice is you really don’t need to feel jealous about the time your new partner spends dealing with the ex about the kids. They left them for a reason, and they have chosen you. Good relationships between divorced parents are a good thing for the kids and worth working towards.


You and your partner will have your own unique answer to this minefield of often complex relationships, wants and needs. My advice is to keep talking about it, be kind to each other and laugh about the challenging moments. Because there will be some!

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