17 Sep Making “blended families” work after remarriage
While divorce has become an unchanging reality in the United States, the high rate of remarriage after divorce has provided for “blended families” which unite the children of previous marriages into one family unit. It is no surprise that children can bear the biggest emotional brunt of a divorce. Successfully managing a blended family after an emotional divorce may be crucial for the well-being of the children.
Various factors might be considered before remarrying a partner who also has children from a previous relationship. Partners must decide the financial arrangements first. Money issues can often drive a wedge between relationship partners. Sharing finances as well as deciding on personal and marital assets should be considered before marriage. Living arrangements also need to be clearly defined. Many couples stated that instead of moving into the home of one of the partners, starting fresh with a new place was beneficial to the relationship because the move provided a sense of equality. Many people may find it helpful to draw up a financial prenuptial agreement before blending families.
Children might not always react well to the news of parents getting remarried because it can often bring forth feelings of insecurity, jealousy and anger. Dealing with these issues may be traumatic for both custodial and non-custodial parents. The situation may be exacerbated if the divorce proceedings led to acrimony between ex-partners. A family law attorney may help provide a smooth transition into a new family set up in such cases.
A parent must be sensitive to children’s feelings and needs. Children of divorce may often feel insecure with new people in the mix, so the role of the new step-parent also has to be delineated before remarriage. Children must not feel that the step-parent is trying to replace their biological parent. The step-parent should also be sensitive to such issues.
Source: American Psychological Association, “Making stepfamilies work,” Accessed on Sept. 11, 2014