Sleepovers with new partner while divorce is pending?

Hello everyone. First time posting and I’m a bit nervous. Has anyone ever had a new partner sleepover (with kids present) while their divorce is pending? My soon-to-be ex and I split in March, and he moved out that month. I have 5 kids ranging in age from 5 years old (twins) to 14. I know that the reasonable answer would be “no” just to be on the safe side, but if I am to spend any time with my new partner, it’s kind of all-or-nothing because of geography—he lives in the UK and I live in the US. He is the love of my life; we were together for years (I moved overseas for him) and when we broke up it wasn’t our choice. Since reconnecting we’ve spent some time together during several work trips that I’ve taken, and now he has booked a flight to come to see me in August for 9 days. He offered to stay in a hotel, but that would be really impractical since he won’t have a car. My soon-to-be-ex was abusive, and so far there is no custody order. Ultimately I doubt he’ll get shared physical because of his history, though he is asking for it—most likely, the kids will be with me unless I ship them off to my mom who lives in another state, and I don’t want to do that. I really want him to stay with me and I’m super excited about it. I think that this is probably a gray area and although my soon-to-be-ex will be furious if/when he finds out, but I wonder if there could actually be negative consequences. I will have been separated for five months by then, but I’m sure the divorce won’t be finalized because we don’t even have a docket number yet. Has anyone else navigated sleepovers with new partners while their divorce was still pending? Please be kind as I’m nervous about asking this, even anonymously.
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Have him book a hotel save all the drama with your ex kicking off. It’s the first time your kids will be meeting him so having him stay all that time could be a bit much. Totally upto you tho no judgment if you decide to go for it 💖

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Thanks! He has offered, and we’ve got a few months to think about it and see how things go also (with my divorce). I’m coming to him in July… I just thought that I might try to get some input from fellow mamas to start thinking about it. It’s hard to imagine driving to a hotel, picking him up, driving him back (with all the kids). But my oldest is 14, so she can perhaps help watch them when I go to pick him up, etc. it’s such a hard call…it would be a bit much for him to stay with me, and it’s more the potential drama that worries me—my ex has no problem putting them squarely in the middle. But then again, it’s ultimately such a short space of opportunity…

As hard as it would be. I think he should stay at a hotel. You can have your mom watch the kids a few times. And also you can have him meet the kids in a neutral spot like the park or something to see how they react. This may not be new to you, but it’s brand new to them! They just ‘lost’ their family two months ago.

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Point definitely taken. It’s so hard. My mom will probably be five hours away; she lives with me part time but isn’t planning on being around for August. If she was, I’d have him get a hotel and I’d “visit” him there. I could leave them with my mom the whole week…she’ll have them when I go across to the UK in July…but then it would be months before they’d get to meet him. My biggest worry is one that no one is really mentioning, and I wonder if it’s because it’s just me over-thinking: I’m worried about whether/how my soon-to-be-ex could use this against me. My mom asked if I was “allowed” to have my new partner stay with me, and it gave me pause. She gave an example of a neighbor who was in that situation (not allowed to have his kids around his new partner). It sounds wild, and I googled it, but it seemed inconclusive. It does look like it might be possible for him to file a motion to prevent such an introduction, but it looks like it’s rare, and maybe there has to be another reason

I'm so happy that you found someone. I just would tread carefully, especially where kids are involved and take your time bringing him into the picture. All that glitters isn't gold and you're in a vulnerable position right now, even if it doesn't feel like it. Just take your time is all I'm saying

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Thank you. And I definitely feel that. It’s so hard to gauge, particularly when there is the geography issue. I’m so head over heels and it just seems such a miracle to me that he has been restored to me; it’s like a lifeline in the dark. Obviously there is that part of me that wonders how I’d cope if something happened and he changed his mind… It might be the same level of risk for the kids as for me, as in, it’s probably fine, but what if? That’s my mom’s worry. She knows my new partner and she thinks the kids are going to fall completely in love with him. But she had that happen to her when she was little, with one of my grandma’s boyfriends… It’s just…I feel like we ALL deserve this. And yes, there is a risk…but it’s hard to see how I could introduce him “gradually.” It’s going to be nine days in person and then over the phone for another month…it isn’t like I can introduce him for a few minutes at a time for a few months of weekend’s so hard.

Thank you!!! He is desperate to meet the kids and views the fact that I have five of them as an absolute jackpot—his are all grown now (he is ten years older than me, and neither of us are spring chickens). He is already planning to move here and it is just…magic after twelve years of hell with my soon-to-be ex. They are like different species. We consciously kept apart and avoided each other, even on social media, because we kind of made a pact to do so (he was married back then, but now long divorced), and then after time we each thought the other was better off. But now we are SO happy.

Do your kids know you are divorcing? If so you have two months to kinda get familiar with an idea that mammy has a new friend. Or you can say he is your friend and let him stay in different room in the house. One way or another do what is right for you but don’t dismiss children’s’ feelings.

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Sadly, my soon-to-be ex put the kids squarely in the middle of it, and told them things that, were I to list them here, I’d have to flag the post as sensitve. It was a horrible separation. He was abusive, and before he would begin one of his abusive cycles, he would tell me out of the blue he wanted a divorce. Then he’d interrogate me until he found a reason to blow, then he’d get aggressive, screaming, breaking things. etc. The last time this happened, I had promised myself that the next time he told me he wanted a divorce, I’d call his bluff. And I did. Since reconnecting with my new partner, he has been my best friend. I talk to him all the time. The younger kids know him as “mommy’s friend from England.” My oldest knows our history and that we are back together, and she is super happy about it. She even talked to him once when he called and we were both in the car, and it was really sweet.

I wouldn't do it to protect your kids. Five months is no time and while I want to encourage you to do your thang, it's not fair to the kids and potentially confusing for them. Give them the time and space to process. Perhaps get a sitter for a weekend so you can spend the night with him. Otherwise, you've got to sometimes do what's uncomfortable in the present to protect the future. And I'm all for raising kids who don't need counseling as adults.

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I totally understand this…and I would be right there with you…if it were really a new relationship. We were together for years and leaving each other was the hardest thing we ever did (he was married back then, and it was about his kids, who were babies then but are now grown—his ex kept taking them away to force him to stay with her). I know this is forever (I’m 48 and he’s 58, so I guess that’s relative), and he is already arranging to move here through his work. Still, I know it’s kind of fast. I’m going to stay with him for 10 days in July, then he will be here for 9 days in August and he is planning to come again in October…but we have so little time together! About getting a sitter…if I were going to do that because I was worried it was too early for the kids to meet him, I’d send them to my mom since it will be summer. But we both want for him to spend time with them…it’s just that I don’t know what (if any) havoc this might wreak on my divorce.

Girl do your thing ! This is your partner and ultimately spending time with you is also spending time with your kids. Best of luck

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