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3 tips for starting a successful blended family

You are getting married again after your divorce. Your new spouse is also divorced. Both of you are bringing children to the marriage, creating a blended family.

It's a complex situation. You have to consider your child custody rights, your co-parent's rights, your spouse's rights and their ex's rights. A lot of people are involved here -- most importantly, your children.

To make it all go as smoothly as possible, here are three tips:

  1. Talk out your parenting plans and custody arrangements. Both sets of parents probably want to get in a room together, even if it's a bit uncomfortable, to talk about how this is all going to work.
  2. Thinking about living situations and financial realities. What type of economic impact is blending your families going to have? What does it mean for your budget? What does it mean for child support payments or alimony payments on both sides?
  3. Understand that there are going to be changes to the way that you parent your kids. You and your new spouse may not have the same parenting style. Additionally, you are both going to be taking care of children who are not directly related to you other than through marriage. You need to plan this out and talk about what parenting tactics you want to use, what you agree on and where your styles differ.

Blended families can be a beautiful thing. They give you all a chance at a new type of family life. However, they can also be complicated. This is why you really need to think through your rights and legal options.

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