The Blended Family
A blended family refers to a family with spouses who have children from a prior marriage and may also have children together of their current marriage. This scenario is much more common today than it may have been when divorce was considered to be taboo and in some cases morally unacceptable. Indeed, today’s modern family can be defined by step-parents, step-siblings, half-brothers and half-sisters. While this is a beautiful thing and to be celebrated, when money and extreme wealth is thrown into the mix the worst of human behaviors such as greed and entitlement can grow, resulting in family distrust and a constant questioning of one another’s motives and actions. For blended families and wealth, getting ahead of the curve with regards to a number of issues that could arise is prudent for nurturing and strengthening new family relationships.
For Richer and Richer?
We all experience challenges common in marriage, having children, and divorce. These are human and relationship issues that test us every day in life. It’s hard enough the first time around but if you’ve had more than one marriage, it doesn’t necessarily get easier (even if you do have more wisdom) and will undoubtedly have different obstacles because you have instantaneously formed a “new family,” some members of which you may have had no hand in raising or teaching life’s lessons. Every blended family situation is unique of course, but no matter what your and your new spouse’s personal goals and philosophy may be about wealth a second marriage is a life event and transition that signals change and so the existing plans you have in place may no longer serve its purposes to meet your intentions. Therefore, take the time to be thoughtful about your personal and financial affairs in relation to your blended family. Clarity and communication is a must so that expectations are managed and boundaries are set; otherwise you leave it to all family members to make assumptions of your intentions and hope that you’ll follow through with what they believe to be true.
What’s Mine Is – or Isn’t – Yours?
Below is a list of key areas every spouse should consider and implement either before or after the marriage, as appropriate:
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