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Lombard family law attorneyAmerica is a nation built on second chances. Consider, for a moment, the number of high-profile incidents or embarrassments involving celebrities or public figures, and how many have gone on to even greater success and fame afterward. For many, love and marriage is not terribly different. Despite a failed first marriage, more couples than ever are willing to walk down the aisle again in the hopes of finding the permanent happiness that has, so far, eluded them. Remarriage, however, can be extremely challenging, as many couples beginning second or third marriages are bringing with them children from previous relationships. Finding the right balance between parent and friend is often difficult for new stepparents, but there are some things you should keep in mind to make the transition a little more comfortable for everyone involved.

Be Prepared

As you fell in love with your new spouse, you knew that he or she already had children. Thus, the process of becoming a healthy blended family probably began long before thoughts of marriage ever crossed your mind. During the dating process, it can be very easy to try to ignore your partner’s children and the potential impact on your relationship, but doing so is not very conducive to a future together. It is important, however, to start slow and not to impose yourself on an existing family dynamic in such a way that will be overly upsetting. Understand that you will probably feel like something of an outsider for a little while, because, in reality, that is just what you are. Over time, though, you will probably feel more included and more a part of the family than you ever thought possible.

Be Respectful

Whether you have children of your own or not, you need to keep in mind that every stepparent’s relationship with their stepchildren is different, and may even vary from child to child. For example, your spouse’s older child may have taken to you immediately, becoming affectionate and loving without much effort, while a younger child may be more stand-offish and need additional time to adjust. Neither reaction is necessarily right or wrong, but as long as it is honest, you should be understanding and respectful. If a child wants space, allow him or her to have it; if he or she wants love and support from you, offer it. A long-term future together can only be realistic if everyone remains open and truthful about their comfort and feelings.

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Posted on in Divorce

divorce, second marriage, Lombard Divorce AttorneyDespite how it may feel at the time, life does not end with divorce. Over time most divorced individuals will put their lives back together and eventually be ready to mingle and date again. In fact, numbers from around the country show that a larger number than ever before are even willing to give marriage another chance.

Currently in the United States, four out of ten new marriages involve at least one previously married spouse and half of those are marriages in which both spouses had been married before. Based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Pew Research Center reports that remarriages have been on the increase for many years and have reached an all-time high.

Several social and demographic factors seem to be contributing to the historic rise in the rate of remarriage. Most obviously, the rate of divorce and social acceptance of remarriage in the last few decades has resulted in an ever-growing number of divorced Americans ready and able to walk down the aisle again. Additionally, as the age and life-expectancy of the American population trend upward, "people simply have more years in which to make, dissolve, and remake unions," says Gretchen Livingston, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center.

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retirement age marriageStatistics show that gray divorce – divorce for people who are 50 years old or older – has doubled since 1990. 60 percent who will decide to give marriage a second try will not have any better luck than they did the first time.

Legal and financial advisers say there are steps that older couples can take to help their chances of having a successful marriage the second time around, including communication and a prenuptial agreement.

Especially of concern for people who are close to or already retired are finances. According to some studies, the majority of couples who are engaged fail to discuss their present and future financial situations with each other before they are married. Communication before marriage is essential. This can be especially critical for older people who have been saving all their lives for retirement, only to find out their new spouse has serious financial obligations they knew nothing about.

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consecutive marriageAccording to an article published by Psychology Today, second and third marriages often result in divorce. Past statistics support that while first marriages have a 50/50 chance of survival, second and third marriages often fail with rates of 67 to 73 percent, not providing much hope for eternal bliss.

The reasoning behind the statistics? Often, those entering a second marriage are "on the rebound," and those trying for the proverbial third time charm have failed to learn from past mistakes.

Cathy Meyer, a Certified Divorce Coach, Marriage Educator and contributor to About.com’s Divorce Support, a general online resource for divorce, provides further explanation of why these marriages fail.

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