When you marry another parent, combining your households can be a struggle. We have all seen The Brady Bunch, and we all know that transitioning into a blended family is never as easy as television makes it seem.
Adjusting to life in a blended household can be challenging for every member of the family, but it is not impossible. Below are a few strategies you can use to make the adjustment easier for yourself, your spouse, and your children. Keep in mind that moving in with a new partner and his or her children could be grounds to alter your child’s existing parenting plan.
Communication is Key
If you tend to be more permissive than your spouse or vice versa, talk to him or her about your parenting routines and expectations before you move in together. It is also important that you determine the roles you will each play in your stepchildren’s lives after moving in.
Communicate with your children, too, about the changes that are coming to your household. Discuss how bedrooms might be changed and how the family will need to follow a new routine to accommodate your new spouse and his or her children.
Create a Routine and House Rules Together
In many cases, it is more productive to create a new set of household rules and routines with your spouse rather than simply working them into your existing routine or attempting to work yourself and your children into theirs. Create these rules and routines with all family members’ needs in mind, such as the children’s school schedules and your work schedules.
Having consistent household rules for all the children can help to avoid feelings of favoritism or unfairness among them.
Respect Existing Parenting Plans and Relationships with Other Parents
It is likely that every child in the house will have a parenting plan. Sometimes, these schedules and restrictions for specific children in the household can get in the way of planning things together as a family or push you or your spouse into an awkward position, like prohibiting your children from staying up late to play video games because their stepsiblings are not allowed to do so when they are in your home.
Do not speak badly about your former partner or your spouse’s former partner and do not create an atmosphere where parenting plans are regarded as unfair restrictions or obstacles to overcome. Parenting plans are part of your children’s lives until they become adults, and these plans exist to ensure that their relationships with their parents are not hindered after a divorce.
Work with an Experienced Winter Park Family Lawyer
Moving in with your new spouse and his or her children is a big adjustment for you and your children. For legal guidance on altering your parenting plans to better suit your new needs, speak with one of the experienced Winter Park family lawyers at Aubrey Law. Contact our office today to set up your initial consultation with us.