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Embracing Change: Navigating Divorce and Remarriage with Children

In life’s twists and turns, we sometimes face complex crossroads like divorce and remarriage. Amidst these changes, your children’s well-being matters most. Let’s journey together to discover how to navigate this path with care, understanding, and love, as we explore together how to guide your family through the intricacies of divorce and the promise of new beginnings.

The Impact of Divorce

Although divorce is a transitional difficult event, it can create stressors for all involved, but especially children. If left unattended, these short-term stressors could cause long-term clinical symptoms continuing into adulthood. The lingering effects of divorce can be critical for both the adults and for the children caught in the middle. Broken parental patterns/behaviors result in broken patterns/behaviors in children.

Divorce, remarriage, new partnership, and marital discord increase the risk of behavioral, emotional, social, and academic problems among children. Navigating emotions and difficulties does not have to be something you have to do alone. Working with a therapist is therapeutic for each individual and for the family.

Challenges of Remarriage and Blending Families

It is important to increase conscious awareness of the complications that come with divorce and remarriage. Learning a variety of strategies through family therapy can aid in helping children and parents navigate any unique complexity that may arise in the family dynamic.

Learning to communicate effectively, co-parent, and navigate adjustments and changes can be difficult and emotionally taxing. Effective co-parenting plays an essential role in preserving the nonresidential parent’s involvement in childrearing after a parental breakup and has been widely demonstrated to be beneficial for children of divorced parents in the adjustment process (Adamsons & Pasley, 2006; Bergström et al., 2021; Lamela et al., 2016; Rejaän et al., 2021a, 2021b).

Sometimes after divorce people move on and either just date or take a chance and remarry, hoping the next marriage will be better than the first. Approximately 65% of remarriages result in the creation of stepfamilies (Zeleznikow & Zeleznikow, 2015). Navigating new relationships and prioritizing a healthy relationship with an ex-partner to co-parent is a challenge, especially if the divorce itself was high-conflict. Parents struggle to navigate the difficulties in bringing new partners, new children, or existing children from previous marriages and need guidance and resources to help create and maintain healthy boundaries to sustain a healthy family dynamic. Even though blended families can be complicated, there is still hope they can be beautiful and prosper.

Seeking Professional Support: The Role of Family Therapy

Family systems therapy is beneficial in helping families work through and resolve their problems within their family framework. It assists in recognizing familial patterns, building stronger family bonds, and sustaining effective communication and healthy boundaries.

Family systems therapy acknowledges that the family plays a key role in both emotional and physical well-being throughout one’s life. Since most individuals have contact with their family of origin through their entire lives, interventions intended to encourage behavior change in children are focused on the parent-child unit. Learning how to communicate effectively, work through difficulties and establish and maintain healthy boundaries are all important aspects of having a healthy family system. Although divorce and remarriage can create more complications, working together as a family is still attainable for all individuals within the family unit. Working on learning how to communicate effectively, understanding the conflicts within the family, and working together as a team is imperative for a family system to function healthily.

Guiding Your Children through Divorce Challenges

Here are some crucial tips to consider while navigating this journey:

  • Positive Environment: Maintain a positive atmosphere by speaking kindly about your co-parent. It sets an example of respect and cooperation.
  • Two Welcoming Homes: Remember that your child now has two homes where they are loved and welcomed.
  • Belongings Matter: Encourage your child to carry their belongings between homes, making both places feel familiar.
  • Let Kids Be Kids: Allow your child to focus on being a child, while you manage the adult concerns.
  • Seek Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to seek the support of a therapist or counselor who specializes in family dynamics.

These are a few of the guidelines I provide to the families I work with. These guidelines assist parents in providing a loving healthy environment for your child/ children to thrive in and will also minimize conflict.

If you’re wanting to know more about family therapy, navigating divorce, blending families, or considering counseling for yourself or family, please feel free to reach out. We could discuss if family systems therapy is the right fit for you and your family.



Adamsons, K., & Pasley, K. (2006). Coparenting following divorce and relationship dissolution. In M. A. Fine & J. H. Harvey (Eds.), Handbook of divorce and relationship dissolution (pp. 241–261). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Bergström, M., Salari, R., Hjern, A., Hognäs, R., Bergqvist, K., & Fransson, E. (2021). Importance of living arrangements and coparenting quality for young children’s mental health after parental divorce: A cross-sectional parental survey. BMJ Paediatrics Open, 5(1), e000657. doi: 10.1136/bmjpo-2020-000657.

Lamela, D., Figueiredo, B., Bastos, A., & Feinberg, M. (2016). Typologies of post-divorce coparenting and parental well-being, parenting quality, and children’s psychological adjustment. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 47, 716–728. doi: 10.1007/s10578-015-0604-5.

Rejaän, Z., van der Valk, I. E., Branje, S. (2021). Postdivorce coparenting patterns and relations with adolescent adjustment. Journal of Family Issues. doi: 10.1177/0192513X211030027.

Rejaän, Z., van der Valk, I. E., Schrama, W. M., van Aalst, I., Chen, A., de Boer, C. G. J., & Branje, S. (2021). Adolescents’ post-divorce sense of belonging. European Psychologist. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000444.

Zeleznikow, L., & Zeleznikow, J. (2015). Supporting blended families to remain intact: A case study. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 56(4), 317–335. doi: 10.1080/10502556.2015.1025845.



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April Wazny, MA, LPC

April Wazny received her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University. She is passionate about working with children, adolescents and families. She has over 10 years experience working with children, families, blended families, trauma, Autism Spectrum Disorder, special needs and special needs parental support. She has 21 years of experience with Military families.

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