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How Divorce Impacts Step-parents & their Children
How Divorce Impacts Step-parents & their Children

If you are facing a second divorce and there are children involved, it is important to consider the finding of a new study from University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences. The researchers discovered, not surprisingly, that children tend to follow the lead from their parents when deciding whether to maintain step-family relationships. In other words, step-children are only likely to continue their relationship with a former step-parent if their parent encourages them to do so.

According to Medical Daily, the authors state that “remarriages end in divorce more often than first marriages, so many stepchildren experience multiple parental divorces and the potential loss of significant family ties.”

The study involved interviews of 41 young adults who had parents that remarried and later divorced. Half of the participants reported that at some point they considered their step-parent as family. When a subsequent divorce occurs, it can make things complicated. The child has no blood ties or legal ties to the step-parent, but there are still attachments and feelings that are involved.

The research discovered that of the group that considered a step-parent as family, half of those continued relationships with their former step-parent. The time period in which the step-parent was involved in the child’s life likely played a crucial role. A step-parent that was there during the developmental years is more likely to mean something to the child.

The most influential factor, however, was whether the child’s parent encouraged the child to continue an ongoing relationship with the step-parent after the divorce. If you are facing a second divorce and your children have a close attachment with their step-parent, consider the result of this study and how you might influence and assist them in maintaining a relationship with their step-parent. For young children who do not have the ability to drive themselves, make the effort to take them to see your ex-spouse and foster a healthy relationship. Remember, divorce is difficult on everyone, especially your children. Maintaining good relationships with loved ones can make the process less traumatic for your children.

If you need assistance with your divorce, contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm today. Our approach to family law is quite simple: we listen to you; we return your calls promptly; we keep you prepared and informed; we respect your time; we understand your concerns; and, most importantly, we care.