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Blending families may not be as easy as it sounds

Social sensitivity has a way of influencing a lot of aspects of our lives. One of the most prevalent ways that sensitivity may be expressed is in the way we talk about things.

For example, during the recent recession there were a lot of people who were "between jobs." Apparently that was easier to accept than saying someone was unemployed. And how many times has someone dying on the operating table been called a "negative patient outcome"?

In the area of family law, there are some who find it indelicate to say the word divorce. For them, the term "conscious uncoupling" might be more acceptable. A Google check for divorce euphemisms offers up any number of other suggestions, including one in which a divorcee might be referred to as one who has been "relieved of marital duties."

We recently came across an opinion piece in which the author argues that the term blended family falls into the euphemistic category. She observes that blending presumes smoothness. But her view, shaped by her own experience, is that the combining of families through divorce and remarriage rarely happens smoothly. As idealistic as the goal may be, the many personal and emotional dynamics in play make it difficult to achieve.

She offers that it's time to come up with a more accurate term. She suggests that stepfamily has a long lineage of acceptability and might be better. Alternatively, she says second family might work. She says the goal should be to have a phrase that focuses more on the process required than the outcome desired.

Whether her idea gains traction is something we can't predict. What we at de Beer & Associates, P.A. know, however, is that child custody and parenting time issues require care so that parents' rights are protected and the best interests of all the affected children are met. Call us. If we take your case, we will work to make sure the legal processes of your case keep moving forward.

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