When parents divorce and then remarry, one of the problems that many divorce lawyers see them dealing with is the challenge of merging a blended family.
Attorneys who help their clients plan for a divorce understand that for some, bringing two families together under one roof can be difficult, especially when the whole issue of step-parenting and authority comes up.
Time is a critical factor according to those divorce attorneys who have provided continual legal counsel to their clients even beyond the initial divorce stage; however, there are legal aspects as well.
Hopefully, these tips can help parents with their blended families as each tries to recuperate after divorce and move on in a new way.
Accept That It Will Take Time
Significant changes to people’s personal and family life take time to settle in and creating a new family from two that have been through divorces is no different.
Above all other advice that divorce planning attorneys can give, the most important is that the formation of this new family unit will involve a period of adjustment.
As new habits, new rules, and new traditions are formed and family members become more familiar and comfortable with each other, many divorce lawyers see their clients eventually settling into a more productive blended family.
Talk About It All
Talk is essential whenever big changes happen in any family.
This begins with the first days of working with a divorce attorney when it is critical to explain to children what is happening and why, then continues all the way to and beyond the formation of a new blended family unit.
Spouses and other family members should be able to voice their concerns so they can be addressed and parents should support as well as encourage their children doing whatever is necessary to assist them during this important adjustment period.
Discuss Expectations and Set Rules
When bringing two families together, discussing expectations about a blended family with new spouses and children is critical.
Topics of discussion should include schooling, how to financially support stepchildren and for how long, paying at some time for college and weddings, and all of the usual parental topics like religious, medical, and social decisions and other parental decisions.
Experienced divorce lawyers encourage new spouses to find ways to compromise in areas where they may not initially see eye-to-eye on raising kids as well as set some spousal and family rules in order to grow into a successful new family.
Many divorce attorneys even recommend documenting the more important rules in a pre-nuptial agreement that can be referred to again as time goes on.
Learn About Legal Rights and Obligations For Step-Parents
A unique concern that divorce attorneys also point out to spouses starting blended families is the need for both parents to be aware of their obligations as step-parents and the extent of their legal rights.
Situations that involve ex-spouses paying spousal support, special needs children, children exhibiting problematic behavior, stepparent authority and parental rights, and others can make starting a blended family especially challenging.
These are some circumstances that should involve some legal discussion with an experienced divorce attorney who can help them plan for this change and outline where each parent’s responsibilities lay and how certain difficult situations should be handled to prevent legal or family problems.
Contact A Divorce Attorney Experienced With Blended Families
Blended families can offer a beautiful solution to divorce when spouses and their kids can communicate well and adapt.
An important part of creating a positive family structure for all involved is discussing important legal and personal issues with a divorce lawyer who understands the challenges and can guide the conversations appropriately.
Blended families take a lot of effort, but as many divorce attorneys have seen, they can work out just fine when new spouses/parents go into things ready to address the challenges in the right ways.
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1800 West Bowie Street, Suite 200-E
Fort Worth TX 76110
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.