PREPARE/ENRICH Australia Blog

Remarrying couples: Negotiating your own roles and the roles and rules for their biological and step children

Encouraging individuals to discuss their expectations with regard to children, what happens now, how that might change and more importantly how the couple and children might feel about those changes is important.

"After two years, I still feel like an outsider.” - a stepparent.

Whilst marriages are lasting longer - those that do end in divorce are lasting 12 years, which is two years longer than they did 20 years ago - however the probability that a marriage will end in divorce has been increasing over the decades. Based on the nuptiality tables, around 28% of marriages entered into in 1985–1987 could be expected to end in divorce. This proportion increased to 33% for all marriages entered into in 2000–2002.

Remarriage for couples in their second and third marriage face unique challenges 

Stepfamilies face unique challenges. While a significant percentage of marriages in Australia will end in divorce, (around 1 in 3 according to research (Jain, S., 2007)) a larger proportion of remarriages will end in divorce. According to 2015 Australia Bureau of Statistics data, marriages where both partners were marrying for the first time accounted for 71.9% of all marriages. The proportion of remarriages for both partners increased from 11.5% in 2014 to 11.7% in 2015.

Are there financial disadvantages impacting children born outside of marriage?

In recent decades, much of the globe has witnessed a retreat from marriage. This means more children are being born outside of marriage, either to single parents or cohabiting couples, in countries around the world. This social change raises a few questions:

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