Thinking of Forming a Stepfamily?
Some practical questions to consider before forming a stepfamily
- Legal - Are you clear about your legal position when you re-marry or re-partner? For example, have you thought about the responsibilities of a step-parent towards his or her stepchildren? What about the effect of re-marriage or re-partnering on a previously made will?
- Housing - How much space will you need? What are the views of the children about sharing a room or a house with a stepbrother or stepsister whom they hardly know? Would it be easier if you had a new start in a new home? Is that possible and would that be the best use of your finances?
- Finances - What are your costs going to be? How will re-marriage or re-partnering affect income from sources such as social security benefits or maintenance by a former partner? How will you manage your finances so that no member of the new family will feel disadvantaged? How will you meet your commitment to children of your previous marriage/relationship?
Second marriages and partnerships and stepfamilies can be exciting and rewarding for their members. But there is no magic, and a number of challenges will need to be faced.
Allowing time and discussing issues as openly as you can are often helpful.