Blended Families

Although approximately 50 percent of marriages end in divorce in the United States, living in a family headed by a single parent is usually only a temporary situation for most parents and children. The majority of divorced men and women will eventually remarry. In fact, roughly one-third of divorced people will remarry within the first year after their divorce. As a result of these multiple marriages, families may take a variety of forms. One form, the blended family, consists of unrelated siblings (i.e., stepsiblings) from either the mother's or father's previous marriages or romantic relationships, who are brought into a new family when parents cohabitate or remarry. Family members' adaptations to the new relationships in their stepfamily evolve over time and are influenced by a variety of factors.

See also: CHILD CUSTODY AND SUPPORT; DIVORCE; STEPFAMILIES

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