Question 15
How will we deal with blended families?

Default answer:  none.  There is no tradition and no law for blended families
because this was not supposed to happen.
Marriage was supposed to be a one-spouse-for-a-life-time arrangement.
If one spouse died, the other usually did not remarry.
There were no problems of ex-spouses, step-children, & extra in-laws.

Creative answers: Thus the patterns for blended families must be invented
—devised by you if you create a new partnership
after the end of a relationship in which you had children.

    A.  Child-Support Problems in Blended Families.

     If you are a divorced parent who has remarried,
some court-ordered child-support might still be in effect.
The biological father is usually still responsible
for paying a certain monthly amount for the support of his children.

     If you are a divorced mother who marries a richer man,
and if you have custody of at least some of your children,
the new husband might become the effective father of the children
and relieve the biological father of his child-support obligation
—especially if your ex-husband also remarries
and starts having more children with his new wife.
But any changes in child-support obligations should be
made explicit in writing as new relationships are being formed.
And it might be wise to have a judge affirm your new child-support system.

     In some cases the biological father
will not be relieved of his child-support obligation.
The step-father might be father-in-fact of the children living in his household.
He might have most of the benefits and responsibilities of being a father.
But the biological father might still be required to pay child-support.
Even tho the biological father does not see his children every day,
he might still be under court order to support his children.

     In the wife's new blended household, all children should be treated alike,
even tho they have different fathers,
who might be supporting their children in different amounts.
The cash from the absent parent(s) could be added to the household fund,
from which expenses for all of the children are paid.
Or perhaps you can think of another fair way to handle
child-support payments in different amounts
and from different non-custodial parents.    


Above you have the first page of Question 15 from Designer Marriage.
The next 5 pages explore other problems and possibilities for blended families.
The table of contents below shows the sub-divisions of this Question.

Return to the table of contents for

Designer Marriage: Write Your Own Relationship Contract

Created April 5, 2009; Revised

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