Divorce often presents many challenges for parents. When parents remarry, there is the added challenge of raising children with new family members. Blended families are becoming increasingly common, as most divorce lawyer will advise, with one in three children today being raised in a blended household. Although combined families do come with certain obstacles, attorneys who handle divorce cases state that these family arrangements do not have to be a problem. A good parenting plan created with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer can allow both divorced parents and their children to have a happy family life even after becoming part of a blended family.
Understand There Will Be Conflicts
Considering the significant change that remarriage brings, divorce attorneys note that bringing children into a blended family situation is bound to have its share of conflicts. Personalities may clash, rules may be challenged, and children may act out at first, which is natural at first and should be expected. Parents need to allow time to work through the challenger for themselves, their own children, and the other children and adults now living under one roof.
Discuss and Agree on Parenting and Rules
One of the most confusing and aggravating things for parents and children is when parents do not abide by the same parenting rules. This is especially important in a blended family situation, where children may try to get away with things because the parents in this newly formed family unit don't agree on the same rules. Only when parents agree and abide by parenting rules and make those rules clearly known to all children can order be brought to a new family structure. Making and sticking to parenting rules is especially important to prevent feelings of favoritism, which can lead to arguments among both children and parents.
Develop and Maintain Personal Relationships
Having a good relationship with all children is particularly important in a blended family. Biological children will need their parent more than ever, until things settle down. Likewise, it is also essential for step-parents to develop trusting and loving relationships with their spouse's children. Parents must make time for all children individually, as well as nurturing the family environment to create and maintain the good relationships that form a happy family. Along with this, it is also important for parents to support and encourage their spouse’s continued relationship with his or her own children and the growth of new relationships with step-children.
Keep Up Communication with Former Spouses
When children move into a blended family situation with custodial parents, non-custodial parents should still remain as involved in their child’s life as always. Parents should make every effort to maintain a positive relationship with former spouses, so that parents retain their role in raising their child, even in a blended home. This will avoid problems and ensure that everyone stays happy.
As any divorce attorney knows, there is little doubt that entering into a blended family arrangement can be challenging for all involved. Yet with patience, good communication, and nurturing attention, remarried couples can make things work. If questions over custody or visitation should arise, discuss the situation with a divorce lawyer who can help assist blended families to do what they must - blend!
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Gloor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526