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What happens to the children in a stepparent divorce?

11065830_S.jpgThere are few issues related to divorce that are not complex. The legal issues are always complex and carry long-term consequence. As an example, your parenting plan, especially if you have young children, could control many aspects of you and your children's lives for the next dozen or more years. While it can be modified, that too, will require a trip back to the Family Court here in Columbia.

In addition to the legal matters, there are the emotional issues that can be very difficult to deal with. Your emotional state, your children's emotional state and the emotional state of your children's other parent are all very significant to how well your divorce process proceeds.

Depending on your family's structure, grandparents may also play a significant role in the emotional state of your family. And if you have been divorced previously, there is even more complexity. How will you manage your children's relationship with their stepparents?

A recent study from University of Missouri found that children in stepparent relationships often take their cues from their parents. This means that if you are divorcing for a second time, how your children from your first marriage maintain a relationship with their stepparents depends a great deal on you.

You need to be sensitive to their needs in this circumstance. If they spent a much of their formative years with that parent, you should be understanding if they wish to continue that relationship. As the study note, a six-year marriage may seem short to an adult, but if you married when the children were 5-years-old, such a time period could be very important.

Source: medicaldaily.com, "Maintaining Family Ties After Divorce: Stepkids Follow Parents' Lead When Second Marriages Break Up," Susan Scutti, August 12, 2015

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