Divorced Parents’ Perceived Benefits and Risks of Dating and Sharing of Dating Information

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In this study we explored the associations among divorced parents' perceptions of the benefits and risks of dating and parents' sharing of private information about dating, specifically information related to the timing of introducing dating partners to children and coparents and disclosures to children about dating activities.


Relatively little is known about how divorced parents decide how open they should be about disclosing information about dating partners.


A convenience sample comprised 284 divorced mothers and 117 divorced fathers recruited following a state-mandated divorce education program. Participants completed an online survey. Data were analyzed with regression analyses.


When parents perceive the dating partner as a benefit in coparenting their children, they are more likely to think that dating partners should be introduced earlier to children and that more information about dating relationships should be shared with children. Concerns about other's perceptions were related to later introductions between dating partners and children.


Some of the divorced parents' perceptions of possible dating benefits and risks are related to introducing a new partner and sharing dating information with children.


Family practitioners could help divorced parents evaluate both how to approach introduction of dating parents, as well as dating partners' potential to assist them in childrearing if the relationship becomes serious or long term. More research is needed on what goes into parental decisions to disclose information about dating to children.