Your ex-spouse has met the new love of their life. Maybe they’re engaged. Perhaps the new significant other is living with your ex. Either way, this person is now going to be part of your children’s lives — and yours.

It’s natural to have mixed feelings about this. It’s good for your kids to have another adult who loves them and can help take care of them and strengthen their support system. However, you may be concerned that you now have to compete with this person for your children’s affection. You may also fear that your co-parent’s new partner will undermine your parenting.

No matter how you feel about the new significant other, it’s important not to criticize or belittle them to or in front of your kids. If they like their parent’s new partner and the feeling is mutual, that’s what’s important.

Nonetheless, you and your co-parent are still the kids’ parents. It may be necessary to set boundaries about how much of a role the new partner can play in making decisions for your kids or setting rules. That person should follow your and your co-parent’s wishes.

Whether you’re ready or not, you’re now part of a blended family. It’s best if you and your ex’s new partner can get along and work together to do what’s best for your kids — which should be everyone’s goal.

If your co-parent and/or their new partner is not following the agreements you’ve established or if you believe that your role in your children’s lives is being minimized, to your children’s detriment, talk to your co-parent. If the issues still aren’t resolved, you may want to talk to your Florida family law attorney about seeking modifications to your custody/time-sharing agreement if that’s what in your kids’ best interests.