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Remarriage After Divorce and Kids

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Remarriage After Divorce and Kids

Getting married again after going through a divorce is certainly not uncommon. Many people find a new partner and choose to remarry, and a good number of these remarriages involve parents with children from their previous marriage. Kids don’t always understand the reasons behind divorce or remarriage; they might only see it as a bad thing. Helping kids cope with remarriage after divorce will be something that is important for both their biological parent and their new step-parent to do. Here are a few strategies to help kids cope with remarriage after divorce.

Pace Your New Relationship.  A new relationship is always exciting at the onset. You’re feeling hopeful about your new partner, and maybe you’re already thinking about the future and remarriage. While it’s normal to be experiencing all of these feelings, remember to pace yourself. Starting a new relationship after a divorce is hard for children to watch their parents do because they tend to see the new partner coming in as someone who wants to take the place of their other parent. If things move too fast, there won’t be sufficient time for an emotional bond and trust to build between your children and your new partner. Allow plenty of time to pass before you make any real decisions about remarriage in your new relationship. Besides creating an opportunity for your children to get to know your new partner and build a friendship this person, you are also giving yourself time to consider if remarriage is truly what you want.

Discuss Logistics. If integrating your families and remarriage is a real possibility, you and your new partner should discuss how life will be in your household once this happens. How you will discipline the kids, what the house rules will be, and what your daily routine will be like are all things you should consider as a couple before blending your families or remarrying. Discuss how you will handle disagreements over things like parenting styles or conflicts with your ex-partners. These things may seem somewhat trivial now, but it is important to address them before any issues arise. Also, talk about finances with your new partner. Expenses are an easy point of contention for any couple even after remarriage. Talk about each of your earnings, your budgets, and your financial goals as a remarried couple. Again, being up front about these topics early on will help you to avoid future issues or miscommunications.

Talk About Feelings. Remarriage after divorce is a big choice to make, especially if you have children from your previous marriage. Seeing their parents in a new relationship can make kids experience all sorts of emotions, and as their parent, you should work hard to keep yourself aware of what they are feeling. Keep the conversation going with your kids about their feelings in regards to your family situation. Ask them how they feel about your new partner every now and then; you may notice that their feelings will evolve over time. Encourage them to tell you if they have any doubts or fears, and acknowledge their feelings when they share them with you. Talk to your kids about your feelings on the situation. Be sure to remind them that your new partner is not here to replace their other parent, but rather, they are here to be another person to love and support them. Besides just having these conversations with your kids, talk to your new partner about the status of your relationship and their thoughts on remarriage. Talk about your kids and theirs, if they have children from a previous relationship as well. Keep an open dialogue going about your kids and how they are all taking to the situation. 

Don’t Badmouth Your Co-Parent. You might have absolutely no affection for the other parent of your kids at this point, but this person is going to continue to be in your life even after your remarriage. Speaking ill of your co-parent in front of your kids can be confusing or frustrating for them to hear. Doing so might even lead them to push away from you and your new partner. As annoyed as you may be at your co-parent in some moment, remember to keep your cool in front of your kids. If you need to get your emotions out, do so with someone whom you can trust and can help you work through your feelings in a healthy way. Working with a therapist is a great option because they can offer advice to you as someone who is not directly connected to or affected by your situation. While you work to not speak poorly of your co-parent in front of your kids, ask your new partner to do the same. You should both be respectful of the other parents to each of your children and the relationships that they have with their kids. 

Talk To Your Attorney. Remarriage after divorce sounds simple enough, but being once divorced with kids might impact your decision. Depending on where you live, there may be a post-divorce decree waiting period that obligates a divorced individual to wait a certain about of time before remarrying. Your divorce decree itself may lay out provisions for what happens when one of the parties remarries. While not every divorce decree has provisions that affect remarriage, sometimes they may include a waiting period or the termination of spousal maintenance. For these reasons, it is very important to discuss remarriage after divorce with your attorney. They will be able to address all of your questions and concerns that pertain directly to your situation. 

Remarriage after divorce and blending families with kids is a big task to take on, but when done well, the results can be so rewarding. Before making the decision to do so, take your new relationship slow. Get to know your new partner, and discuss all of your expectations for your new relationship. Always keep an open dialogue with your new partner and your kids about emotions as you all go through this process. Remember to keep your feelings in check when it comes to the other parent of your children, never badmouthing this person in front of your kids. Finally, discuss remarriage after divorce with your attorney so that you are prepared to face any legal challenges that could possibly arise.

When blending families after a remarriage, it will be important to keep on top of everyone’s agenda. Using a tool such as the OurFamilyWizard® website to help you manage your blended family’s schedule, vital information, expenses, and so much more. Learn more and sign up today!


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