If you find yourself currently in a long distance relationship and already have children from a previous relationship, you may be facing a bigger challenge than most long distance relationships where children aren’t part of the equation. There are often laws in place that won’t allow you to take your children far away from your previous partner if they are the mother or father of those children. This could leave you with having to make the difficult decision to be with your kids or be with your long distance partner.
Long Distance Relationships & Having Children from a Past Relationship
Family court systems across the world have recently seen a large increase in the number of divorced parents wishing to relocate interstate and internationally. This is mainly due to the fact the world has become far more connected with the internet. Whether it’s online dating apps or social media, people are finding it easier to find and connect with long distance partners. Although this enlarging pool of potential partners can be great for us adults, it often leads to children not living in close proximity to both their parents.
Finding long distance love when you already have children with an ex-partner can exacerbate the hardships your children must face. Not only must they deal with having parents that have fallen out of love, but now they may face separation from one of them. If you choose to leave your children to be with your long distance partner, it is easy to make promises that you will make every effort to still see your children frequently.
The fact, however, is that you may struggle to make good on those promises unless you are financially well off. Although travel may have become easier, with frequent flights to more destinations, it still proves to be quite costly. Finding both the money and the available time off work to keep in contact with your children may prove hard to accomplish.
Statistics show that roughly half of all divorces involve children and the decision to divorce can affect them in many ways. Apart from the emotional impact of being separated from a parent due to divorce, children may also face other hardships. By you and your partner deciding to divorce and split your assets, you are essentially throwing away money and resources that could be used to help give your children a better life.
Instead of parents owning a single home, divorced parents will now be paying two mortgages or rents. They will be paying twice the amount for things like utilities and will now incur travel expenses transporting their kids between each other. And this is for amicable divorces. For highly contested divorces, parents can end up throwing out tens of thousands of dollars on legal costs. All of this leads to children of divorced parents having to most likely face a lower standard of living than they would have had if their parents stayed together.
If there is any chance of saving your marriage, you should by all means attempt to do so for you and your partner as well as for the well being of any children. Many say you should always put your children first, and although this is sound advice, you do need to look after your own needs and desires as well. Having children doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice every aspect of your life. You deserve to enjoy a life of happiness just as much as your children do. The more you sacrifice your wants and needs, the more you may begin to feel resentment for your children. Kids are very intuitive and will pick up on this.
If your relationship has reached the point where it is clear that it is well beyond repair, then divorce may be a better option than staying together for both you and your children. We cannot control who we fall in love nor can we know for sure that our relationships will last forever. We often go into relationships with the best intentions, but things can change for the worst despite our best efforts to keep things afloat. Many times I think there is a stigma around divorced parents that paints them in a light as though they did something wrong. This can often be far from the truth.
Many times a couple may realize they simply desire a different path in life. While you should always make it a priority to provide your children with the best life possible, it may not be wise to stay together with a partner you have fallen out of love with simply out of fear it may negatively impact your children. There’s only so long you can sustain a fake relationship before your unhappiness will begin to affect your kids as well.
Quite often divorce can be the healthiest option for your family dynamic, most importantly your relationship with your children. If you and your partner do decide to go down the path of divorce, know that there are ways you can limit the negative side effects your children will experience.
The key to any divorce is communicating with your ex-partner and being open to making compromises despite what led to your divorce, except of course in cases where illegal behavior or domestic abuse was experienced. In cases such as these, leaving the relationship is often the best decision one can make for themselves and their children.
Some cases of divorce will be brought on by the poor decisions or actions of one partner and the innocent or abused partner should not be looked down upon for deciding to leave the marriage, even if they do have children. Often people find they married an exemplary individual only to see them become abusive or afflicted with a harmful addiction as time passes. If your partner becomes drastically different from the person you married and it’s causing you and your children harm, you should have every right to remove your children and yourself from the toxic situation.
After a divorce, life must go on and eventually many will find themselves in new relationships. There is nothing wrong with this of course and it can prove to be healthy for both you and your children. When it comes to managing a long distance relationship and one or both of you have kids, things can become a bit tricky. For many, moving away without their children would be unthinkable. In cases like this, it would help matters if one partner in the long distance relationship did not have kids. This would make it an easier option for them to be the one to make the move to where you reside so you can remain with your children. Should both of you have children from previous relationships, then your situation becomes a lot more difficult.
It is important for both parents to be actively involved in their children’s lives. You also owe it to your partner to take equal responsibility when it comes to raising the children you had together and you are both entitled to a life with your children, except in cases of abuse or neglect of course. Although you and your former partner may have decided to divorce, you both must come together and have an equal say on how your children will be raised.
Just because you may have found a new love via a long distance relationship, you cannot expect your ex-partner to make sacrifices in order for you to be with your new partner. You could ask your ex to move interstate with you so you can both be with the kids, but this would both be highly unrealistic and unfair towards your former partner. In cases of international long distance relationships, immigration laws would most likely prevent this idea from even being a possibility
Those finding themselves in a very good financial situation will no doubt have more options when it comes to making arrangements to frequently visit their children, such as acquiring a second residence close to their kids aside from the house they may share with their new long distance partner that is located far away from the kids. Most people, however, must often make the choice of what will be easier for their children, their ex, their new partner, and themselves. In this case there may not be a right answer. It comes down to what you value most.
At the very least, technology has made it easier to stay in contact with your children should you decide to move away from them. The same technological advancements that allowed you and your long distance partner to successfully remain together can also work to stay close to your children. Video messaging, social media, and even travel in general have all made it easier for families to stay in touch and share thoughts.
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