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How to blend families while preventing parenting plan problems

If you're one of many Pennsylvania residents who divorced in recent years, you may deserve a pat on the back for overcoming the challenges you likely faced in the process. Especially, if you're a parent, chances are you and your kids have had to make several adjustments in lifestyle that proved difficult. As time went on, you probably felt like life was getting back on track. The kids were doing well and you met someone new whom you plan to marry.

That last part obviously means you will become a blended family. If your new spouse also has children from a previous relationship, things can get quite complicated. You might also be worried about how your new family situation may impact your existing parenting plan agreement. Hopefully, all adults involved are willing to cooperate and compromise as needed. If not, you might be in for your biggest challenge yet.

Tips for keeping the peace in blended families

Families comprised of step-parents and step-siblings are by no means rare in today's society. However, no two situations are exactly the same; so, what works for another family may not be the most viable option in your particular situation. Following is a list of general ideas that may prove helpful as you and your new spouse build a new family life together:

  • Discussing finances ahead of time may help prevent serious problems down the line. Especially, if an existing court order requires you to pay child support, you may want to make sure your new spouse has a clear understanding of the arrangement.
  • It may be challenging to decide where to live as a blended family. If you and your children already have an established household, and your new spouse and step-children do as well, deciding which house to keep or whether to purchase a new one altogether may be a top priority.
  • It's often helpful if both spouses clear the air regarding their feelings about previous relationships. If there's a particular issue involving a former spouse or an aspect of an existing court order that is troubling a new spouse, it's best to address the matter as soon as possible to avoid stress later.
  • The court is typically of the opinion that children fare best when they maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents after divorce. If you believe a step-parent is impeding your relationship with your kids (especially if the issue involves a custody or visitation agreement) you may want to reach out for support to resolve the problem before things get worse.

Ultimately, you know what's best for your children and your marriage. While it can be challenging to blend families, many others in Pennsylvania have successfully done so, sometimes with the help of other parties. For instance, if a problem arises concerning an existing court order, a concerned parent can reach out for support by discussing the matter with an experienced family law advocate.

Like most parents, you want what's best for your children, and by being proactive to overcome any challenges that arise, your blended family can anticipate a long and happy life together.

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