Stepfamily Reality #28 - Stepkids Changing Homes

     Studies suggest that in about 30% of typical U.S. stepfamilies that follow parental divorce, one or more minor kids will move from one parent's house to the other at some time. Depending on how wounded and unaware co-parents are, these relocations range between well-planned and harmonious to unexpected and very disruptive - emotionally, financially, legally, and logistically.

        Many things may cause a minor or grown stepchild to move unexpectedly to their non-custodial parent's household, even years after their stepfamily's formation. Some insecure or angry stepkids can demand to live with their other parent to test the leadership and security of their stepfamily, and/or to unconsciously distract everyone from more serious family problems like addictions, affairs, incest, abuse, and/or neglect.

       Even well-planned residence and custody changes send shock waves through the sending and receiving homes' routines, finances, holidays, space allocation, roles, and structure. So residents in each co-parenting home should expect the possibility of kids' moving, however unlikely. Prudent co-parents rough-draft contingency plans for this early on!