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Stepfamilies And Second Marriages: Making Things Work

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First marriages end in divorce roughly 50% of the time. For second marriages, that number increases to 60%. The biggest reason for this is that all the elements involved in the first marriage often carry over into the second marriage, namely children.

Children can certainly complicate relationships. If you don’t have any children of your own and you’re marrying someone who does, make sure you know what to expect ahead of time. Otherwise, you’re going to be in for a wild ride.

Stepfamilies are becoming more and more common in American society. It is estimated that more than 40% of Americans have a step relative in their family. So what can you do to make life as easy as possible once you have stepchildren of your own? Here are some tips to help.

Issues to Consider

As you plan to marry a partner who has children, here are some things you need to consider.

  • Living arrangements. While it may be easier for one spouse to keep their current home and use it as the marital home, it’s better to purchase a separate home, as that becomes the new home.
  • Decide on whether you want to share your money or keep it separate. Research shows that couples are more satisfied with their marriages when they share their money and keep it in a joint account.
  • Feelings from the previous marriage. Both children and adults often have feelings from the previous marriage. For example, a child may be upset that their parents won’t be reconciling. A man may be jealous that his ex-wife is remarrying. It’s best to resolve these feelings and move on.
  • Role of stepparent. What will be your role as the stepparent? How will you raise the kids? Will you be able to discipline them? Keep in mind that the kids may change their attitude toward you once you tie the knot.

Parenting in a Blended Family

Parenting will no doubt be the biggest issue as you step into the role of stepmother or stepfather. Younger and older children tend to adapt better, while adolescents (children between the ages of 10 and 14) are forming their own identities and can find the transition difficult.

As the stepparent, you will need to develop a bond and try to be the child’s friend first rather than the parent. You should not take on parenting duties but have household rules that everyone must abide by.

Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today

Dealing with a second marriage and the kids that come into it can be a challenge in the first year. Children can make a relationship stressful as they deal with jealousy, anger, and other emotions.

It could take some time to make a new marriage work when children from a previous relationship are involved. If nothing helps, it may be time to rethink your marriage. The Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you understand your options. Schedule a consultation today. Call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.

Resource:

pewresearch.org/social-trends/2011/01/13/a-portrait-of-stepfamilies/#:~:text=Today%2C%20more%20than%20four%2Din,nationwide%20Pew%20Research%20Center%20survey

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