Family at home

Starting a Family with a Child from a Previous Marriage

Are you ready to start a family? Getting married is a significant event in anyone’s life. It’s a life decision that typically, people don’t take lightly. But the thing is, once a couple decides that it’s the right time for their family to grow by bringing another human being into the world, the wedding seems like a walk in the park. But what if, you are planning to marry someone with a kid?

It’s not something so easy to do when you’re marrying someone with a child from a previous marriage. There are several things to consider, all of which include talking not just to your spouse but also to their former spouse, in case they are still in the picture. The same is true if you’re on the flip side of the situation.

Now, if you’re the person with the child from a previous marriage, this is what you should do:

Reassure the Parent of Their Role in the Child’s Life

Just because you have primary custody doesn’t mean the other parent cannot see their child anymore. You two may arrange visitation schedules with the help of your family attorney. You also need to discuss what happens should you leave Marysville or if they want to take the child to a trip outside Washington state. The last thing you want is to start trouble by ignoring the parental rights of the other party.

Discuss the Child’s Lastname

A child may be too young to have a say in the matter, so it’s up to the parents to decide whether to change the child’s name in case the mother has remarried. If the father is in the picture, the child may continue to carry his name. If the father is out of the picture and your new partner decides to adopt the child, the child may carry his name. It’s a decision that may require discussion with the grandparents of the child, however, even if it’s only as a courtesy. Involving them in the decision shows that you value them and their thoughts on the matter.

Talk to the Child

Mother talking to daughter

If you are about to get married, there will be a lot of changes in your child’s life. They already went through a major change in the form of divorce, and now you’re with a new partner who, in their understanding, may replace their other parent. That’s the first thing you need to clarify with them. Help them understand that you’re not taking them away from their other parent even if there’s someone new in the picture. It’s best to have this talk together with your former spouse, so your child will know that both their parents are on board.

When you have a kid, your relationship with your partner is not just about you and your own happiness. Pay special attention to the situation of your child before you take the next step in your relationship. As the family they know is changing, it’s up to you to help them cope in a productive way.