Family Law Articles - Florida Law
Handling the Challenges of Being a Blended Family
Posted on June 20, 2018
Over the years, many families have gone from the typical biologically bonded mother, father, and child to a variety of other family configurations. While new families are supposed to "blend" together, the transition can be challenging for everyone, causing many parents who remarry to end up divorcing.
Getting Past the Rough Start
To ease the transition into a blended family, parents can do things such as:
- Get on the same page regarding expectations – Both parents should come up with a list of values they would like to teach their children in addition to parenting beliefs and household rules. Once parents are on the same page, they can use the specific strategies they agree on to address the problems that occur within their family.
- Make an effort to spend time together – Blended families need time together so that they can bond and get to know each other; this can be difficult, especially when children have different visitation and custody schedules. Doing things as a family, even simple things such as reading books together or going to the park, will help the children feel closer to their new stepparent and stepsiblings as time goes on.
- Avoid expressing negative feelings about exes to family members – While parents and stepparents will need to vent, they should find someone to confide in outside of the family. Couples should also avoid complaining about their exes in front of their children.
- Help the children adjust – The way children will react to their new living situation is unpredictable. Many times, children see their new stepsiblings as an annoyance, or they become worried that they will have to compete for attention from their own mother or father. And, instead of respecting their new stepparent, children often make it their mission to make things more difficult by not listening to them or by showing disrespect. To help ease their children’s transition, parents should spend time with their own children separately, to remind their children that they’re still special even though they are now part of a larger family unit.
- Focus on their partner – While couples without children have lots of time to dedicate to one another, parents in blended families are often so consumed with their children’s needs that they lose focus on each other. Spouses who know how to communicate openly, and who give each other love and respect, will also help their kids feel more secure.
If, despite your best efforts, you and your spouse and/or children still cannot make things work, you may want to seek help from an outside source, such as a therapist or family law attorney.
At The Roberts Family Law Firm, P.A., our experienced and compassionate Orlando family law attorneys can address the diverse legal issues that emerge within blended families. For questions, or to discuss your case, please contact us by calling (407) 426-6999 or by filling out the online form provided on this page, and we will contact you shortly.