Moving in together is a big step in any relationship. Moving in together with stepchildren is slightly more complicated. The Brady Bunch theme song easily explains that when his kids and her kids move in together the group seamlessly becomes a “bunch”. The reality of blended families is a bit different from this fictional account. These tips will help stepfamilies contemplating moving in together.
Restrictions on Where You Can Move
Before accepting a job offer in a new town, stepfamilies will need to consult their court order. Court orders and parenting plans will vary by state, family and situation. When both parents share custody there might be a stipulation on where or how far one parent can move. For example, parents may need to stay within a specific school district or within 30 or 50 miles of where the child currently resides, etc. Restrictions are highly subjective and are usually determined by parents and their lawyers when initial parenting plans are created. States may also have laws about when and how the other parent should be informed about an upcoming move.
A New Home Or An Existing Home?
Moving in with stepchildren can mean everyone packing up and moving in to a new home together, or it could mean one party is moving in to the existing home of the other party. There are so many different variations when it comes to blended families, one size does not fit all. If one party will be moving in to an existing home, keep in mind that you aren’t starting from scratch like a normal move. You will have to fit all your stuff into an already furnished house. One of the benefits of everyone moving into a new home is that everyone has a fresh start, when one party moves in to an existing home it can be a harder transition for children sharing their “turf”. Moving in to an existing home is less complicated in that a new home doesn’t need to be purchased and only one household needs to physically move their belongings.
The one constant in life is change, blended families may understand this better than anyone else. Children in stepfamilies grow up sharing their time between two households. Like any family, as children grow and reach different stages their needs will change. Moving in together with stepchildren is a huge transition. As much as you may want to spend all your time together as one family, make one-on-one time a priority. Kids should get individual time with their parent and the new couple needs time alone to grow their relationship.
On your journey to becoming a blended family, you may encounter many challenges like: who should get the best room or what you should look for when buying a family home, etc. Moving shouldn’t be one of those challenges, we would love to help you have a happy moove!