Helpul Tips for Blended Families

blended family, DuPage County family law attorneyFor many people, remarriage offers another chance at finding the happiness that may have eluded them in their previous relationships. A person considering getting married again has found a new partner with whom they look forward to building a life together. From a practical standpoint, however, marriages can be very challenging, especially for those with children still living at home. Such couples must take steps toward blending their families in a way that is beneficial for everyone involved.

Talk, Listen, Repeat

The first thing that you and your intended spouse should do is have a series of conversations about what you expect your new home situation to look like. Chances are good that you each ran your homes differently and will have your own ideas about the “right way” to do things. If only one of you has children, the other may defer to parenting style, but if you both have children, compromises will be necessary. Start slow and allow time for reflection and consideration of each other’s ideas, then revisit them with follow-up discussions as needed.

Structure and Discipline

When you and your new partner begin sharing a home, your children must adapt to the new reality. This can be especially challenging in situations where both you and your spouse have children from prior relationships. You will need to allow ample time for the new stepsiblings to get used to one another’s constant presence. While they may have gotten along just fine before your remarriage, moving into the same house is an entirely different experience.

To facilitate positive behavior, you and your spouse will need to develop house rules. Set clear boundaries for your children and be consistent. There should be one set of rules, not one for your children and one for your spouse’s children. Obviously, older children may have additional privileges and responsibilities, but those should be applied consistently as well.

Pay Close Attention

During a period of transition, your children may feel anxious, confused, or upset, but they should never feel neglected or abandoned. You and your spouse should set aside time to spend with your children—both in one-on-one settings and as a family. If are not careful, it is easy to find yourself focusing on your new spouse rather at the expense of your children’s well-being. In addition, spending quality time with your children is a good way to help them get to know your spouse and accept him or her as a permanent part of the family.

Seek Legal Help

Those who are considering remarriage are often faced with a variety of legal concerns ranging from child support issues to maintenance considerations to inheritance rights. At our law firm, we can help you address your concerns and put your mind at ease as you look ahead at the next chapter of your life. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney to learn more about how we can assist you today.

 

Sources:

http://www.handinhandparenting.org/article/step-parenting-blended-families/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/28/step-family-blended-family_n_6058890.html

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