September 16, 2021 marks the 25th annual day of recognition for an important type of family: National Stepfamily Day. Stepfamilies, or blended families, are becoming more common every year. Many divorced individuals end up with blended families, so it is important to counteract the negative stigma associated with stepfamilies. These negative stereotypes do not accurately reflect the loving blended families that exist today.
Divorce lawyer David Badanes Esq. of Badanes Law Office on Long Island has worked with many stepfamilies over the years and shared some of the most common issues he’s seen in these types of families.
There are often large age differences in stepchildren. If each spouse in a new relationship or marriage has children from a previous marriage, these children could have big age differences. On the other side, you could also have multiple kids of the exact same age and school grade in a blended family. The ages of the kids will affect the family dynamic as babies/toddlers, elementary age children, teenagers, and adult children all react differently to a new marriage. Be aware of what your family dynamic will be as a blended family and do your best to meet all the kids’ needs in each situation.
Legal issues can arise in stepfamilies. The legal side of divorce is often complicated, but it is even more complicated with children. One legal issue that may come up is deciding who gets what in a Will; there is not a single right answer to this question, so make sure to confer with a lawyer and think about your family situation. Another legal issue that may come up in blended families is dealing with exes. Even if you never want to see your ex after a divorce, if you have children with this person, you will have to work out a solution. If your ex gets into a new relationship with someone who also has kids, make sure to confer with a divorce or custody lawyer and ensure your legal plan is strong. The most important thing when it comes to blended families is to prioritize the needs of all the children in the situation.
Celebrate your new family. It’s important to make sure your children know having stepsiblings or stepparents is not a bad thing, so make time to celebrate your blended family. National Stepfamily Day on September 16th is the perfect day to celebrate with your kids. You could go to a museum, visit the zoo, go camping, have a family picnic, or do anything else that makes this day special! This day could become something for your kids to look forward to each year. Making time to celebrate will help them get excited about their family situation.
Blended families are no longer out of the ordinary, despite the stereotypes that may persist in society. As parents and stepparents, it’s important to make sure all the kids feel comfortable with the family dynamic. Thoughtful preparation and celebration are the best ways to bring unity to stepfamilies.
David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. provides real-world advice to help you through this challenging time. If you are contemplating getting a divorce, and need an attorney to represent you, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.