Blending two families together can be stressful on both adults and children alike. However, as the children have little say as it relates to sharing a Washington home with new people, it’s important that you spend extra time taking their needs into account. Fortunately, there are several easy steps that you can take to ensure that the transition is as painless as possible for all involved.
Listen and communicate
Your children may feel nervous or anxious about living with a new adult or a group of new siblings. Therefore, it’s important that you take the time to listen to what they have to say and reassure them that you are always there to talk when necessary. It may also be a good idea to enlist the help of a mental health professional to ensure that you kids can adequately adjust to their new surroundings.
You don’t always have final say
Often, your spouse’s former partner will have custody or visitation rights to their children. This means that you may need to allow that other parent into your home or otherwise manage having that other parent in your life. Furthermore, you may have to maintain a relationship with your children’s other parent until they reach the age of majority. In some cases, this may be beneficial to include them as it provides the kids with multiple adult role models in their lives.
It can take up to two years after a divorce for your children to feel comfortable living with your spouse’s children. Even if your spouse is childless, it will take time for your kids to accept a new authority figure in their lives. Conversely, you and your new spouse will also need time to adjust to being there for children who are biologically related to someone else.
A child custody agreement spells out your rights and responsibilities as a parent after a divorce. If you have any concerns about such an agreement, it may be possible to ask for a judicial review or for immediate modifications to go into effect.