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Happily Ever After: Are you Marrying Someone With Children?

Learn More About Co-Parenting & Child Custody Below

If you plan to marry someone with children from a previous marriage or relationship , it is important to understand from the very beginning that your future spouse's child or children will play a very big role in your lives once you get married. If your spouse has primary physical custody of his or her children, this role will be even larger. Your spouse's children will be a part of your everyday life. In this installment of our series addressing common issues that those seeking to marry in Georgia may face prior to or shortly after walking down the aisle, we discuss some things to think about prior to "marrying the kids."

How is your relationship with the kids?

Do you like the kids? Even more importantly, do they like you? These are two questions that you should seriously and honestly consider prior to marrying your future spouse. It may seem like a terrible thing to consider, but irreconcilable differences between you and the kids could lead to an irretrievably broken marriage. So, be honest with yourself and be honest with your spouse. If you and the kids have trouble coming to terms with each other, speak to your spouse about it to determine if there is anything that may be done, such as family counseling, to ease any tension. Additionally, try to find out how the kids really feel about you. Children are known for being notoriously honest and open so if the kids are not your biggest fan, it is likely they have made that known already. However, not all children will be as open. So, make sure you and your spouse to be have a frank yet friendly conversation about the new addition to the family. Make sure the kids understand that you are not seeking to replace their other parent, and also make sure they know that both their parents will love them unconditionally, no matter how the dynamics of the family changes.

Are you ready to be a step parent?

If you are not already a parent yourself, it is very likely that you are not completely accustomed to having children in the home. That said, there are likely certain activities that you engage in, like the occasional R rated movie or late night out at your favorite bar, that you may have to modify once your future spouse and his or her children become a permanent part of your life. To prepare, first, find out the specifics of the custody arrangement between your future spouse and his or her ex. Next, consider whether the time you and your future spouse will have with the kids is workable. If not, consider what modification may be made. Once the schedule is established, make sure that you both choose at least one child care provider that you trust so that you and your future spouse will have some alone time at least every once and a while. Finally, find out what is expected of you as far as parenting is concerned. What role will you play? Will you be expected to take a more active or passive role in parenting? Make sure you and your fiancé talk about this well in advance of the big day.

How do you feel about your future spouses ex?

When you marry someone with children from a previous relationship, you are not only marrying that person, but you are marrying their children and their co-parenting relationship with their ex. How do you feel about that? It's one thing to know you future spouse was with someone else prior to you, but are you ready to deal with your spouse continued relationship with his or her ex? Remember, the continued relationship your mate shares with his or her ex is for the kids. Don't let jealousy cause unnecessary problems in your relationship.

Do you and your future spouse want more kids?

Unfortunately, many couples do not discuss this issue until it's too late - one spouse wants to have a child but the other spouse does not. If your future spouse has children from previous relationship, it may very well be the case that they do not wish to have more children. But, if having your own children is something that is very important to you, find out exactly where your fiancé stands on the issue. Hopefully you two can reach a compromise that satisfies the both of you.


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