While the marriage rate in the United States has steadily declined, the number of people getting remarried is on the rise. Approximately 40% of all marriages in the United States involve one person who was previously married. Approximately one fifth of all marriages in the country take place between two adults who were each previously married to another person. As the number of remarriages increases, so does the number of blended families that include children from different relationships and stepparents. When a former spouse remarries, it is not unusual for friction to occur between the new spouse and his or her stepchildren, but these disputes can place an ex-spouse in a difficult position. Learning the best ways to handle disputes involving children and stepparents can make things easier when your children approach you with complaints about their stepparent.
Avoid Criticizing the Other Parent
Even when a divorce is amicable, it is normal for each adult to have complaints about his or her former spouse. During the divorce process it is important to refrain from criticizing your ex-spouse in front of your mutual child, and this becomes even more important once your former spouse has remarried. Critiques repeated by your child that would normally be ignored by your ex-spouse may be taken seriously by a new husband or wife. Jealousy of a former partner is not unusual and negative comments that occur after a remarriage can either cause jealousy in the new spouse or give the new spouse reason to believe that you are jealous. Defending your child is natural, but try to do so in a way that is not perceived as an attack on the new spouse.
Keep Off of Social Media
Venting on social media has become commo place as the number of adults with active social media accounts continues to grow. Online journals, personal websites, and status messages are a way for people all over the world to connect and share. Even though you may have purged your online circle of mutual friends and family members that are close to your ex, if you begin discussing the marriage of an ex-spouse on social media, it is possible that your words will get repeated in front of the wrong audience. As tempting as it is to complain about a new spouse upsetting your child, do what you can to keep your feelings about a private situation off of the internet.
Remain Neutral, if Possible
When a parent remarries, it is often hard for children to adjust to the change. Being faced with the reality of the divorce and understanding that their parents will never get back together is difficult for some children to accept. Anger about the remarriage and dislike of the new spouse or step siblings may lead to your child to complain and do what he or she can to place you in the middle of the situation. Though all parents should act as their child’s advocate, when it comes to minor disputes between your child and a stepparent, do what you can to stay neutral. Parents often lead by example and if you give the appearance of taking a side, your child could be influenced by your choices or actions.
When to Seek Advice
The decision to get divorced is not easy, and having children makes the process even more complicated. The compassionate divorce attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are able to guide you through this difficult time. Contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located Atlanta metro offices. We are able to provide a consultation that will give you an opportunity to get answers about your unique situation.