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As remarriage after divorce has become increasingly common, more blended families or stepfamilies have emerged. According to the United States Census Bureau, over half of all American families were divorced and remarried or recoupled in 2010, which was the last major census year. Nearly 4 million children were living in a blended family or stepfamily in 2010.
All families face their own challenges, but stepfamilies have a unique set of challenges that can be hard to overcome. Here are a few tips you can follow in order to make your experience in a blended family a good one:
Stepfamilies do not form overnight. Ending one marriage and entering another can take months, if not years. You have plenty of time to think through logistics. Before you get remarried, you should make sure that your parenting plan from your previous marriage is sound and acknowledges that you are getting remarried. You should also make sure that if you are marrying a spouse who also has children from a previous marriage that he or she has planned as well.
As previously stated, stepfamilies do not just form overnight. In fact, some experts say that it can take five to seven years for a stepfamily to develop its own identity as a family. With that being said, you should have realistic expectations when it comes to how your family will function, especially in the early years. Your children or your spouse’s children may not be thrilled that they now have a stepparent and stepsiblings. It is OK for your family to have some rough patches, and you should not expect that everything will be peachy from the outset.
Like traditional families, it is important that you make time to bond with your newly-blended family. Chances are not everyone will be comfortable with all of the changes right away, so setting time aside for family bonding can help. Try arranging an activity that involves humor -- a game night or movie night featuring a comedic film can help break the ice and get everyone more comfortable with one another.
Forming a stepfamily with your new spouse can be a challenging endeavor, but it can also be very rewarding. The Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help you with multiple issues pertaining to your remarriage and blended family. If you have not yet finalized your divorce, our trained DuPage County divorce lawyers can help you move on with your life. If you think a prenuptial agreement could be right for your new marriage, our attorneys can also help you with that. We can also help with any child custody or parenting time issues you may encounter. Contact our office today by calling 630-920-8855 to set up a free consultation.