Two divorced people can remarry with children from their previous marriages. After marriage, it is common to wonder how to blend families from both sides. Everyone is adjusting to a new life, from children to step-siblings and step-parents. The transition can be challenging for both the couple and the children.
The children may find it hard to trust a step-parent when their natural one hurt them. There are also fears about inheritance, safety, and custody. A family attorney and individual therapist can help you overcome these challenges.
How to Blend Families and Overcome the Challenges
It may appear as the solution for broken families, but blended families have many social and legal challenges. Without counsel and legal representation, these challenges can threaten the whole institution.
Below are the top 4 challenges of a blended family and how an attorney can help you overcome them:
Estate Plan and Will Restructuring
Redoing your Will and Estate Plan should be a top priority for blended families. Every legal paperwork must include all the current members of the family. This builds trust in the family, alleviating fears of abandonment or hatred.
To circumvent the legal challenges, you need an estate attorney to restructure your Will and Estate Plan. The attorney will help you create an irrevocable trust and explain how to fund that trust. An irrevocable trust will guarantee your heirs their inheritance. With a bypass trust, the trustee can reroute the trust and deprive heirs of their benefits.
Child custody is a thorny issue for most blended families. After divorce, the children live with one parent and visit the other at specific times. If one parent remarries, confrontations can become common. To avoid conflict, an attorney can help parties reach a custody agreement and share their roles.
With a blended family, an attorney can draft a motion requesting the court to review your spousal maintenance. With a formal request, the court can consider your new family as a substantial change in circumstances and modify the amount. With that, you can restructure your budget and focus on building your new family.
Courts determine child support based on the non-custodial parent’s income. The support eases the burden of the child’s upbringing for the primary caregiver.
Instead of allowing the courts to determine child support, parents can agree on how to share the responsibilities. An attorney can lead the negotiations for the benefit of all parties and the protection of the child.
How Is the Best Way to Blend Families?
Blending families after a divorce is a continuous process that can take years. Below are tips on how to blend families successfully:
- Communicate your expectations and be patient with everyone.
- Don’t be rigid in your decisions.
- Don’t give ultimatums; rather, create room for discussions.
- Monitor your own emotions and prioritize other people’s feelings.
- Be patient. You just adopted a bunch of new people into your life.
How to Blend Families With Different Parenting Styles?
Approach a blended family with an open mind. You should not force your new family to mirror your previous one. You are all coming from different families that had different parenting styles. Strike a balance to accommodate new ideas.
When to Blend Families?
Drastic changes can adversely affect all family members, damaging family relationships. It is advisable to wait a couple of years after divorce before considering marriage. Don’t jump from the pan, into the fire. Give yourself some time to ensure your choices are correct.
Contact the Law Office of Heath L. Baker for Blended Family Issues
Hire us to lead the way if you are stuck on how to blend families after a divorce. Family and estate laws are constantly evolving, and you may not be able to keep up with all the amendments. With our assistance, you don’t need to concern yourself with the law as much, as we will aid you with the legal processes.