According to a study from Pew Research, 64 percent of all divorcees eventually remarry. That means there are tons of blended families out there, just trying to figure out how to make things work. If you are one of them, the following tips can help. You will also learn some key information on how to protect your children and finances in a second marriage.
Start with Realistic Expectations
One of the most common downfalls of blended families is that they expect too much too soon. It is important to remember that change takes time, and that children all develop differently. Some may feel they are betraying their other parent by loving a stepparent. Others may be wary to trust. Still others may feel as though the stepparent has stolen their hope of a reconciliation between their natural parents. Thankfully, patience, persistence, and realistic expectations can go a long way in creating a happy, healthy blended family.
Create a New Parenting Plan to Reflect the Changes
Just as it is important for children to spend time with both of their natural parents after divorce, the blended family should emphasize time with all parental figures, including stepparents. You do not have to spend all this time as a completely family unit. In fact, you should strive for a healthy mix of family time and one-on-one time between children and both natural parents and stepparents. This encourages familial bonds across the board.
Have an Open-Door, Open-Communication Policy
You cannot make blended families love each other, but you can encourage everyone to communicate with respect and empathy. As a result, behavior issues and disagreements may be easier to resolve. Furthermore, this level of courtesy helps everyone feel valued, respected, and important, which can also decrease the likelihood of behavioral issues. So, regardless of the situation, be willing to talk it out in a respectful manner.
Protecting Children and Finances
Because there is always a potential for divorce, and because children may be considered at risk from one parent’s ex-spouse or the other, it is important to take protective financial steps in your second marriage. Do this by talking to an experienced attorney about your family’s needs and finances. They can help you craft a prenuptial agreement designed to preserve everyone’s best interests.
At Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C., we protect the futures of families. Skilled and experienced, we can help you create a prenuptial agreement for your blended family. We can even help with parenting plan modifications, should one be warranted. Schedule a consultation with our Naperville family law attorneys today to learn more. Call 630-665-7676 today.