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West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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How Can a Remarriage Affect a Child?

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneys“We are getting a divorce,” are the five words that every child dreads to hear from his or her parents while growing up. When two parents choose to dissolve their marriage, the separation of the family follows, making life difficult for the child. Living arrangements, education, religion, and life at home can all change upon the parents’ split. Allocation of parental responsibilities (previously known as child custody) and parenting plans are established to ultimately secure the best possible scenario for a child after a divorce, although situations can change rather quickly. Adjustments can be difficult for a child, especially the addition of a new adult into the child’s life when one parent decides to get remarried. .

Unintended Consequences of Remarriage

An individual who is trying to move on from a divorce and find happiness with a new partner can sometimes overlook the side effects that his or her romantic pursuit could cause. For a child whois coping with divorced parents and trying to get accustomed to a new way of life, the introduction of a stepmom or stepdad could produce a great deal of confusion:

  • When a new parent is introduced, the divorce may, for the first time, become permanent for the child, as he or she realizes that his or her parents are not getting back together.   
  • After a divorce, tight bonds often form between the child and his or her mother and father. Increased attachments can develop, leading to the child developing jealous feelings and behaviors directed toward a new romantic interest. 
  • A stepparent could also bring along his or her own children, resulting in drastic changes at home. If and when the new couple decides to move in together, living arrangements will once again change, which could lead to a new school and community, or uncomfortable living conditions.
  • Anxiety caused by the thought of hurting a parent's feelings could arise and result in the child remaining distant from the new stepparent. 

When constant changes are occurring in one or both of the parents’ lives, the child involved could be left with the feeling of unimportance. For a younger child especially, stability is crucial in his or her development and ability to form healthy relationships.   

How Can Parents Ease the Process?

A child’s best interest should be the main goal for any parents involved in a divorce. When a stepparent is introduced, reassurance from all involved members could make the situation much easier for the child. Dialogues and discussions between all of the adults in regard to the situation could lay down the foundation of a winning scenario. Keeping an open line of communication and working together can solidify trust within the child that it is okay to form relationships with all of the parents, and that his or her care and well-being is the focal point. For example, when the child can see his or her mother getting along with a new stepmom, the feeling of “choosing sides” can disappear. It is important to keep in mind that this is not an overnight process. Acclimation to a new way of life along with developing a bond of trust can oftentimes progress at a slow pace, giving the child time to feel comfortable and loved.

Contact a St. Charles Parental Responsibilities Attorney

A divorce can be difficult for the individuals involved and the child that is in the middle. Furthermore, when a new stepparent comes into the picture, an already complicated situation can become more challenging. For any parents that have gone through a divorce and are uncomfortable with the current arrangement of his or her child, the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz II, P.C. can assist with custody and parenting time arrangements. For an initial consultation, please contact one of our dedicated Barrington custody lawyers at 630-200-4882. 




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