The Former Spouse and the Step Parent
Although co-parenting with your former partner has its challenges, dealing with parenting issues with your former partner’s new significant other can also be trying. While step-parents generally do not have many legal rights regarding the children of their new spouse, and their wishes are often not a concern of the court, it is important to realize that the concerns of the step-parent can have a tremendous influence on your former partner and your children. Treating your child’s new step-parent with kindness and respect can go a long away in keeping tensions to a minimum. Choosing a peaceful approach will be helpful to all concerned when navigating the intricacies of a blended family
Both Parents Working Together with the Step-Parent
One of the best ways to approach the blended family is to hold a family meeting to clearly address the fact that being together will be an adjustment and everyone should have as much patience, maturity and humor as possible. Getting used to each other is a process and everyone must be aware that it will take time for the family to begin to trust each other and to settle into a comfortable routine.
Being a Positive Step-Parent
A new step-parent’s initial approach to a blended family can be a complex process. Because new family units are often created as an aftermath of divorce, the emotional turmoil that ensues can be significant. When a step-parent enters the family as an authoritative figure in the new household, it is important for everyone to relax, take lots of deep breaths, and tread lightly. While being a part of a new family presents many challenges, when the step-parent assumes a role of the supportive friend to their step- children and their new spouse, this will often foster an environment that will allow the family dynamics to proceed in a positive fashion.
The Supportive Step-Parent
Step-parents must realize that their step-kids already have parents, and they should seek to support those important relationships. Court ordered parenting plans generally do not address the step-parents and the orders are specific to the children’s parents. Step-parents who can be supportive of their partner and their step-children without getting actively involved in the drama can often also create a positive working relationship with the former spouse. While Step -parents must be careful about getting involved in negativity that is often a part of a former couple’s post-divorce interaction, they must also take care to ensure that their input is only provided in private to their partner and not to their partner’s former spouse.
Creating Positive Outcomes
The best-case scenario in these situations is when all the adults in the family can agree to treat each other with kindness and respect the agreements that have been made. In this way, all the adults who have access to and influence over the children can become positive examples for them. Hopefully the children will learn that although families do not always agree, they can approach their differences in a peaceful manner that focuses on a collaborative resolution.
The Parents Working Together Without the Involvement of the Step-Parent
When possible, parents should work together as co-parents to address child – related issues directly. It is often far easier and more effective for parents to arrive at agreements that work best for them and their children when they can negotiate between themselves without the influence of another party. If, however, coming to agreements becomes too much of a challenge, involving the services of a qualified decision-maker or an experienced family therapist is often a viable alternative.
Every Family Has Challenges
A blended family is much like any other family in that it will always present certain challenges. The important thing is to realize that although there may be stressful moments, developing harmonious relationships within the family will take time. And as each family member gains experience, the better everyone will become at being a happy member of a well-adjusted and well-blended family.
Being Represented by Elissa Bercovitz, Esq.
If you are seeking to be represented by a highly skilled and compassionate Colorado family law attorney with over 20 years of legal experience and someone who is familiar with the Colorado courts, judges and magistrates, and very likely the lawyer who is representing the other party, please call Elissa at (303) 803-1678. Or simply fill out the online contact form, and Elissa will be in contact with you to schedule a free consultation.
About Elissa Bercovitz
Elissa Bercovitz at the Bercovitz Law firm has a Colorado family law practice that is focused exclusively domestic relations matters. Elissa knows how to handle complex family law matters in the Denver Metro area and counties throughout the State of Colorado:
Elissa Bercovitz has experience with domestic relations matters related to the dissolution of marriage (divorce), legal separation, the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (parenting time, custody, and child support), maintenance (spousal support/ alimony), paternity, step-parent adoption, relocation cases, the division of assets and debt, LGBTQ family law matters, post-decree modifications, and guardianship. Elissa also handles mediation for family law cases.
Call Elissa Bercovitz at the Bercovitz Law Firm at (303) 803-1678