4 Considerations When Remarrying After Divorce with Kids
Remarriage after divorce is not uncommon, even for divorced parents. In some cases, both individuals entering a new marriage each have children of their own from previous relationships. Kids don't always understand the reasons behind their parents' divorce, or why one or both of them are choosing to remarry. To children, this all might look like a terrible idea.
If you're a divorced parent who is planning to remarry, it's important to find ways to help your children cope with the new family arrangement they'll be facing. If you're a bonus parent entering the picture, you will also play a role in helping the kids adapt to the situation in a way that's only positive.
Here are four considerations when remarrying after divorce with kids.
Pace Your New Relationship
New relationships are always exciting. You feel hopeful about your new partner, and you might even start thinking about what the future holds for you two right off the bat. These feelings are reasonable, but remember that your kids may be feeling quite sensitive about what's making you feel so happy.
Pace your new relationship, even if you feel the urge to boost it forward. Be mindful to introduce your kids to your new partner once you know that your new relationship is committed.
Once they meet, allow your children and your new partner time to get to know each other and bond before you make any real decisions about remarriage. Not just for your kids, this gives you and your new partner a chance to acclimate to life together with your children in the picture and decide if marriage would be the best next step for your family as a whole.
With your new partner, talk about how life will be like in your household once you get married. Your daily routines, house rules, and policies on discipline are all important to discuss before taking the next step. Touch on how you will handle differences in parenting styles or conflicts that could arise with your co-parent.
What about finances? Expenses are an easy point of contention for any couple, especially if one or both of you are entering your new marriage with children. Being up front about these topics early on will help you to avoid future issues or miscommunications.
No Badmouthing the Other Parent(s)
It's never a good idea to badmouth your co-parent in front of your kids. It can be upsetting for them to hear, and it could unfairly influence their feelings about their other parent.
Similarly, it's not a good idea for your new partner to badmouth your co-parent in front of your kids. This can also be upsetting and actually create tension between your child and your new partner.
No matter how you feel about your co-parent—or how your new partner feels about them—keep cool in front of your kids. If you need to let out your feelings about your co-parent, do so in an appropriate place and time. Working with a therapist is an excellent option, as they can offer you neutral third-party advice.
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 any other parents in the picture and the relationships that they have with their kids.
Check-in With Your Attorney
Remarriage after divorce sounds simple enough, but having children from a previous marriage could impact your decision to tie the knot again for many reasons, including legal issues.
Depending on where you live, there may be a post-divorce 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.
For these reasons, don't forget 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 specific situation. If you're not working with an attorney, review your divorce paperwork, and consider doing some research about laws surrounding divorce for the state in which you legally ended your marriage.