According to the Pew Research Center, 16% of children currently reside in what the Census Bureau has labeled “blended families,” such as those that include stepparents, stepsiblings, or half-siblings. While it is becoming more common, blending families can often be a rough transition. Failure to take into consideration one of a number of factors during this critical time can create some substantial difficulties for all involved parties.

Maintain Authority

One of the most important steps when blending families is to make certain that the parents agree on all important matters and create a united front. Doing this helps to establish the authority of the parents. If one parent appears less “in charge” or holds less authority than the other parent, there is the potential that children could attempt to take advantage of this adult.

Safety First

Safety is one of the important things that a person should remember when relocating to a new home. For example, if you have children who are old enough to drive, it is important to make certain that you understand all of the laws in your new state for younger drivers and then create your own household rules. By staying safe, you can make sure that the transition occurs without any substantial obstacles.

Take Legal Issues into Consideration

As you begin to combine households, it is important to consider the numerous legal repercussions that blending a family can have. Stepparents in blended families often fail to consider their liability and involvement when accidents occur. Estate planning is another large concern, and many parents in blending families decide to draft new power of attorney documents to address emergency situations. Meeting with an experienced family law attorney can help determine if there are any other legal planning issues that a person should take into consideration.

Promote an Atmosphere of Inclusivity

It is important for blended families to interact with one another on a frequent basis. Based on how many children are in a blended family, it might not be possible to have family dinners on a nightly basis. Instead, it might be a better idea to gather everyone in your family on one predetermined night each week. During this time, everyone in the family can share details about their lives. On nights together, families can play games, eat dinner, watch TV, or engage in any other type of activity that promotes bonding.

Learn How to Handle Your Partner’s Former Spouse

It is an unfortunate truth that in many blended families, you must learn to deal with your partner’s former spouse. In many cases, this means learning how to handle your negative emotions around your partner. Learning how to deal with the obstacle of an ex-partner communicates to a current spouse that you are serious about the relationship and interested in remaining together.

Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Blending families results in a number of challenges. By following the steps listed above, you can make this process much easier. The combination of two families should be a positive event rather than a stressful one. If you encounter any obstacles during the process, however, our law firm can help. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation.