Everyone has been someone else's child at some point—and maybe as a child, you went to one parent for some things, or were closer to one parent than the other. Now, as an adoptive stepparent, you probably want to form a bond and relationship with your stepchild(ren). You've invested time and built trust with the child(ren). So, what do you do when the child(ren)'s biological parent gets jealous of the connection you've built with their son or daughter? Or, perhaps more importantly, what do you do when that parent becomes angry or even violent?
Although you won't necessarily be around your spouse's ex all the time, it can help to have a plan in place for these situations. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Treat the biological parent with respect.
No matter what's going on with your spouse's ex, don't talk negatively about them in front of the kids, just like you wouldn't speak negatively about your spouse in front of them. Speak with a trusted friend or your spouse about the situation.
Make sure that you and the child(ren) are removed from physical danger.
In situations that involve violence, your first priority should be to ensure your safety and the safety of the child(ren). While no emotions (not even anger) are bad emotions, violence is not acceptable. This could mean staying in a public place, calling for help, or removing yourself from a situation.
Discuss the situation with your spouse.
Share your concerns with your spouse. In these circumstances, they may have insight or recommendations about how to best interact with their ex. If it feels too touchy for your spouse, consider speaking with someone else.
Seek outside assistance/professional help.
Sometimes, speaking with a therapist, mediator, law enforcement, or an attorney can be helpful. Many professionals can support blended families and help protect the children's (and your) safety.
Experienced North Carolina Stepparent Adoption Attorneys
If you're an adoptive stepparent, or considering becoming one, the attorneys at Jerkins Family Law can assist you. Call Jerkins Family Law today at 919-719-2785 or contact us online with any of your questions.