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Post-divorce dating, important tips to remember

Imagine this scenario: You live in New Jersey and you and your spouse have recently divorced. The split is final -- property has been divided, one of you may be paying alimony and you have been given primary custody of the children. Because of this child custody determination, you receive child support. Although you've received custody and are considered the primary caregiver; your ex-spouse is still extremely involved in the children's lives.

It's been a long time since you have been in a fulfilling relationship and now you want to date. But that could be hard because the divorce has left some emotional and financial damage on you, your ex and your children. So what should you do?

Well, first, realize that your divorce may cause you to behave differently once you start dating again. The last time you were in the dating pool, you may have been seeking a partner to marry. Now that may no longer be the case because your marriage, while fulfilling at first, did not succeed and you may remain subconsciously or consciously wary of tying the knot again. Know that this okay and should be expected by people who know that you are recently divorced, whether you are a woman or a man.

And though you have severed the marital ties with your ex, it does not mean that she or he will be gone from your life for good. Remember, you hold primary custody of the children and will be interacting with their other parent on a regular basis for their wellbeing. As time goes on, maybe you and your ex will be able to maintain a friendship. This means that anyone you choose to date should be confident enough to handle such a situation and not turn into a jealous monster.

If you are looking for something serious, be sure to find someone that will not badmouth your former spouse in front of the kids. You should avoid this behavior, too, because it can leave children confused and wondering what went wrong. Divorce can have a serious effect on children, so be sure to keep them in mind when considering the future after the marriage has ended.

Source: Huffington Post, "Dating After Divorce: 3 Things To Know Before Dating A Divorced Man," Devon Brown, Oct. 11, 2012

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