Many blended families exist today.
More than ever, people are getting divorced. They often remarry and bring together their children. Often the new couple may have two households, or live in different towns. They face many challenges when trying to put their family together.
When blending such a family, it’s important to know where the law intersects with family decisions. For example, it’s important to know if you can relocate with your new spouse.
Here in Florida, parties to a family law case cannot move more than 50 miles without court approval or written consent of the other parent. If you have a rotating custody agreement, it may be nearly impossible to move.
However, the law provides a method of deciding whether the move is best for the kids. You must look at the distance you are seeking to move, the proposed time the other parent would have after moving, and the cost of the move. Of course, the relocation must benefit the child.
Blended families require parents to coordinate much of their lives.
Parenting schedules may need to be adjusted.
Most couples I know want to ensure they have their kids the same weekends. Some, however, prefer having the kids on alternate weekends. This allows the couple to focus on each set of kids. But other problems arise. It’s important to have the kids spend time with each other, yet it’s equally important to ensure all the kids feel welcome. It’s a delicate balancing act for two working parents.
One or both parents may have child support obligations.
Court ordered support is enforceable by contempt, and couples need to realize that the support is for the kids and not the other parent. It needs to be made a part of the family budget.
In short, blended families take work, but it’s worth the effort. After getting divorced, a person doesn’t know who they will meet or where that person lives. Florida law provides a way to modify divorce decrees, but it’s good to consult an attorney. (Read: “Florida Supreme Court Revises Family Law Rules“)