The initial transition after divorce can be difficult. You may have moved to a new home, helped your children acclimate to shared custody, and readjusted your own life after divorce. While the initial months and years after divorce can be a challenge, you may have other transitions down the road. After you start dating and eventually meet a new partner, you may consider remarriage, or even blending families. While being a step-parent can seem overwhelming, remember that there are blended, happy families all over the country living and making it work.
Blending a family may not be easy, but it is not impossible. Whether you are considering remarriage or you have already started taking steps to blending a family, there are some traps for the unwary. Our Birmingham family law attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients protect their rights while helping to lay the foundation for secure and happy families and households. We understand the importance of protecting your personal interests, financial security and the future of your family.
Here are some tips when dealing with the challenges of family blending:
Don't rush into marriage too soon. If you are freshly divorced, it is important to take time to get back on your feet and ensure stability before moving on in another relationship. You should take your time with a new partner to make sure a new marriage is the right decision for you and your children.
Don't rush your children into change. One of the most difficult aspects of family blending is introducing the transition to your children. They may already feel pressure from the divorce and the new family is a threat to their old security or an affront to your former spouse. Make sure to take to your children through the adjustment period and give them space and time throughout the process.
Take time to get to know your partner's children. Whether before the marriage or after, you should be patient when getting acquainted with your partner's kids. You may not get along overnight, but also spend time getting to know their interests and who they are. Trust, love, and respect take time and it is your responsibility to earn it.
Discuss parenting roles before marriage. While sharing a household may seem like the right thing for you and your spouse, it may be a different story for your children. Make sure that you and your spouse have discussed parenting responsibilities, rules, and other expectations before trying to settle in. You can avoid conflicts later by being up-front about how you want your spouse to parent (or not parent) your kids.
Don't make your kids or your spouse choose. Spouses and children can be jealous if they feel you are choosing the other over them. Remind them that you want both in your life and that you don't want to be forced to choose. Similarly, you should create a pattern of respect in the household. Even if your children and new partner do not get along, they should be treating each other with respect.
Be realistic about your household goals. While it can be tempting to fantasize about your new life with your husband and children, be realistic and patient. It will take time to adjust and settle in, but the investment is worth it. As always, you should make necessary legal adjustments involving wills, custody, prenuptials and other arrangements to ensure the security of you and your children.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.