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Dating single dad full custody

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When dating a divorced man with full custody, knowing what to expect helps ensure that the relationship goes smoothly.

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As a single dad wading back into the dating pool, Daniel Ruyter was surprised how many women lost interest when he revealed, always in the first conversation, that he had a son.Although it’s Dad’s job to handle Mom, you may have contact with her if she wants to meet you or if you’re around when she picks up the kids.If so, be polite, treat her with respect and make it clear that you know she will always be the kids’ mom.Full custody also means he’s got more on his plate, however.The kids may live with him full-time, which means spending time with his kids and planning ahead for alone time with him.Custody determines which parent has the legal power to make important decisions, such as where the children go to school.

Although divorced parents often share custody, there are situations when custody is granted to one parent, who often assumes the lion’s share of the parenting responsibilities.

He broke off one relationship because her dream of a downtown condo didn't fit with his need for a yard and swing set.

"I think sometimes the women I dated didn't realize that single dads still have parenting obligations that, for me, came first," said Ruyter, now 36, who maintains the blog "Memoirs of a Single Dad" (memoirsofasingledad.com) and recently self-published the book "Memoirs of a Dating Dad." Changing landscape As fathers grow more engaged in child rearing, and courts more willing to grant them custody, single dads increasingly are dating with kids in tow — in heart if not in hand.

Some 2.8 million single dads live with their kids, up 27 percent from 10 years ago and nearly double the number in 1990, according to Matthew Weinshenker, assistant sociology professor at Fordham University, who analyzed 2010 census data.

(The number likely includes many joint custody arrangements.) While single dads face many of the same dating challenges as single moms, there are some differences: In a survey of 100 single fathers, the vast majority preferred to date women with children, thinking she would be more selfless and understanding of his commitment as a father, said Ellie Slott Fisher, who conducted the survey as research for her book "Dating for Dads: The Single Father's Guide to Dating Well Without Parenting Poorly" (Bantam).

"At first I took it personally," said the Orlando, Fla., information technology analyst, who was 32 when he divorced and got joint custody of his then 5-year-old son.