4 Considerations When Remarrying After Divorce with Kids
Remarriage after divorce is not uncommon, even for parents. In many 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 parent and you or your co-parent are planning to remarry, it's important to find ways to help your children cope with this new family arrangement. 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 maybe even start thinking about what the future holds for you. 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 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 decide if this is what you both truly want.
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 remarriage. Touch on how you will handle differences in parenting styles or conflicts that could arise with your (or both of your) co-parents.
What about finances? Expenses are an easy point of contention for any couple, especially if one or both of you are entering your remarriage with children. Being up front about these topics early on will help you to avoid future issues or miscommunications.
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. On the flip side, it could drive them from you and your new partner post-remarriage.
No matter how you feel about your co-parent, keep your 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 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 having children from a previous marriage could impact your decision. 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.
Not every divorce decree has provisions that affect remarriage, but they may sometimes include a waiting period or the termination of spousal maintenance. 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.
Remarriage after divorce and blending families is a big task to take on. Yet when done well, the results can be incredibly rewarding. Before making the decision to remarry, 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 comments 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 arise. Considering these four tips can help you move your whole family forward in a positive way as you start a new family after remarriage.