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Blending Your Family: When Your Kids Have Different Moms

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

The tender years doctrine was a century-old legal principal that presumed children should be in their mother’s custody. That doctrine was replaced with the best interest of the child standard, which drops the maternal presumption and gives a trial court a broad scope what evidence it can consider when reaching its findings. As a result, fathers more frequently find themselves on the receiving end of custody or ample overnight visits with their children. It is therefore increasingly common for fathers to have opportunities at a blended family with children from prior relationships and children from their current relationship. These children get the chance to know each other, to grow up together, and to truly develop a sibling bond. As sibling relationships are the longest relationships we have in our lives, …

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“Labor Day”: A New Beginning or Growing Pains?

In Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

As we celebrate Labor Day and the end to summer, your family may be experiencing a new beginning – a new baby or what’s been called an “ours” baby. Having a new baby is generally a time of joy and celebration, but for blended families it can also bring new challenges.   Experts say that it generally takes between two and five years for a stepfamily to settle into their own unique routine and become a “blended” unit. During those years, everyone – including your children and your ex-spouses – are learning to navigate a whole new world. You and your new spouse are learning new routines and how to live with and love each other. If you and/or your new spouse have minor children, they are dealing with the …