Step families face greater financial and emotional stress

by Kate Marr on March 18, 2011

Kate Marr, Family LawyerAn article titled ‘Traditional gives way as modern families take life one step at a time’ published in the Daily Telegraph on 22 November 2010, talks about the increased likelihood of ‘blended families’ separating compared to nuclear family units.

The article quoted Stepfamilies executive officer, Steve Martin who said that blended families had a 60 per cent breakdown rate compared with 33 per cent for nuclear families.

The article suggests that step families have increased pressures put on them compared to the traditional nuclear family that includes responsibility for step children but restricted power in making decisions for them (for example, medical decisions and restricted access to medical information due to privacy reasons) .

Parents who are part of a stepfamily also suffer greater financial pressures (for example, if a step parent pays child support for children from a previous relationship, whilst also financially supporting step children that live in the same household).

Conflict may also arise between the biological parent and the step parent about what is the best interests of the children.

If your blended family has broken down and you would like to seek advice in relation to spending time with step children after separation, please do not hesitate to contact our office.  We  have family law offices located in Sydney, Parramatta, Wollongong and Canberra.

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