Five rules for the new partner when you are divorcing

Throughout the divorce process, it is likely that you will meet someone rather special. You may have been looking for someone or that special someone may have caught your attention by surprise. Very often, the relationship following a marriage breakdown or de facto relationship break-up tends to tick the boxes that your previous one didn’t have. Often the new relationship means that you fall fast and hard and it feels much more enjoyable than the one before. But … and there is a big BUT … your new partner needs to toe particular lines and observe certain boundaries.

“The role that your new partner plays in your life and the opinions that they share about your previous relationship can either help or severely hinder your divorce process,” said Rachael Scharrer, relationship and divorce expert and Separation Strategist. She goes on to share insights for the new partners that come into your life while divorcing:

Your new partner can choose to either:

  1. Encourage respect, positivity, reason and a very realistic perspective, OR
  2. Promote an antagonistic, angry and hostile environment and divorce process

It infuriates me to hear new partners passing judgement on the previous relationship that their partner had. They are only hearing one side of the story and this story can become distorted and warped over time.

If you and your ex-spouse have children, it is more crucial that any new partner that each of you bring into your lives must try to promote a civil relationship between all people involved, especially if there are going to be family gatherings, celebrations and in the future weddings!

There are some rules to live by for all new partners when you are finishing your divorce with your ex:

  1. New partner, do not pass comment on the divorce or ex-spouse. It’s not your place to get involved. Your partner can make the process more protracted and more adverse than it needs to be – this is often accompanied by greater costs. It is the place of your new partner to listen and be supportive
  2. New partner, embrace the ex-spouse. It isn’t your place to get in between the divorcing couple. If your partner and their ex-spouse can’t communicate well, you may be able to be a respectfully assist them navigating new separated territory
  3. New partner, refrain from taking on the ‘divorce fight’ as your own. Harbouring grudges on behalf of your partner, bring up old stories and opening raw wounds aren’t beneficial to those divorcing. Your new partner is allowed to feel protective over you however they should not be exacerbating a bad situation or heightened moment
  4. New partner, encourage a positive co-parenting relationship, open communication and an amicable separation between the divorcing couple. As an individual not directly involved in the divorce, it is your place to be realistic, reasonable and respectful and encourage your partner to do the same
  5. New partner, meet the ex-spouse before meeting the child. It doesn’t have to be a protracted meeting and your partner can be there if you think it will help. It brings a level of comfort and promotes respect between the adults before involving children

Remember, new partners may come and go. You may live in close proximity or move in similar friendship circles and see your ex-spouse from time to time. However, if you share children with your ex-spouse, expect that they will be around for the rest of your life. When children are involved, it is more important than ever for you and your new partner to create a functional and respectful relationship with your ex-wife/husband, no matter what it takes.


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd