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Blended Families and the Effect on Children

Posted By Center for Mediated Divorce || 2-Feb-2016

Blended families are much more common than they were in previous generations. Only recently are we beginning to study the patterns, the intricacies of the relationships, and the long-term effects, positive or negative, that it has on the children and into the future.

What Is a Blended Family?

A blended family is defined as a couple who brings in children from a previous relationship or marriage. The children may or may not be living primarily with the couple, but the children are certainly an integral part of their parents’ lives.

Here are some statistics regarding blended families:

  • Over 50% of marriages end in divorce.
  • Approximately 13% of parents are stepparents to other children.
  • As much as 40% of marriages are partners who have remarried.
  • About 42% of adults have some form of a step-relationship, such as a stepparent, stepchild, etc.
  • More than 40 million Americans are remarried

Marriage and family law counselors and experts predict that blended families will become the norm in only a few years’ time. In fact, it is possible that they could compromise well over half of all marriages in the United States.

Blended Families Can Be Troublesome for Children

The prospect does not come without its own set of issues. For example, children who come from blended families may be more likely to need extensive medical care due to health problems or require counseling.

There are emotional conflicts to consider. Stepchildren may not be welcoming to the thought of another person entering their family, seeing their parent remarry, or having to acknowledge new siblings. Studies showed that the more transitions a child goes through with parental relationships, the more likely they will need support academically, emotionally, and psychologically.

If you have any questions about blended families and family law, please contact Center for Mediated Divorce today. Our focus is bringing compromise to families and putting your well-being at the forefront.

Studies were taken from data by the Pew Research Center


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